There has been quite a bit of controversy surrounding a health reform law that includes birth control under the category of preventative care. You might have heard some misinformation about this particular health reform law, and how it works. Here are the facts about it, from the White House website.
At least two religious universities have filed a lawsuit against the federal government specifically in regards to this particular health reform requirement. There are several religious businesses, (such as religious hospitals, universities, and social service agencies), who are strongly opposed to this law. In short, they feel that it goes against their religious beliefs to include the coverage of birth control in employer sponsored health insurance plans.
It is amazing how much good, reliable, solid, information can be found on the internet. Unfortunately, it is clear that the internet is exceptionally good at spreading misinformation. To help you discern what is true from what is false, the White House has posted a blog that has the facts about birth control, preventative care, and health insurance.
First, a little background. In August of 2011, the Affordable Care Act was expanded to include the coverage of women’s preventative health services. This means that all health insurance plans must cover the cost of those services, including contraception, without charging a co-pay or deductible.
Beginning in August of 2012, all health insurance plans must cover the cost of birth control. This includes the health insurance plans that businesses offer to their workers.
On January 20, 2012, Secretary Sebelius announced that churches, and other houses of worship, will be exempt from the requirement to offer their employees health insurance that covers birth control. Other religious organizations, (including hospitals, universities, and social service agencies), that employ workers who are of different faiths, will not be exempt from this requirement. However, they will get extra time to comply with the law.
It is important to know that drugs that cause abortion are not covered in this policy. RU486 is a drug that causes abortion. RU486 is not covered as part of preventative care. All FDA approved forms of birth control are covered. Some people think that employers who offer health plans that cover birth control are “paying for abortion”. This is not true.
No one is going to be forced to buy or use birth control. The rule simply requires health insurance plans to cover the cost of it. If you don’t want to use birth control, no one will make you do it. No one is going to force you to have a mammogram, a colonoscopy, a screening for diabetes, or any of the other things that are covered under preventative care, either.
There are twenty-eight states that already have created laws that require health insurance companies to cover the cost of birth control. Some states, like North Carolina, New York, and California, have included the exemption to churches and places of worship. States like Colorado, Georgia, and Wisconsin have no such exemption.
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