On Jan. 30, 2023, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and the Treasury (Departments) released a new rule that, if finalized, would expand access to contraceptive coverage.

Non-grandfathered health plans must cover certain contraceptive services without cost sharing. However, current rules include an exemption and optional accommodations process for eligible employers with sincerely held religious or moral objections to contraceptive coverage. When an employer qualifies for the exemption but does not use the optional accommodations process, employees and their dependents do not have access to first-dollar contraceptive coverage through these plans.

Proposed Rule Would Expand Access to Contraceptive Coverage

The proposed rule would rescind the moral exemption to contraceptive coverage but retain the existing religious exemption. The proposed rule would also establish a new way for individuals to access contraceptives at no cost when they are enrolled in plans that qualify for an exemption and do not use the optional accommodations process. The proposed rule would allow individuals to obtain contraceptive services at no cost directly from a willing health care provider.

At this time, the rule is only in the proposed form and has not been finalized. The Departments are accepting comments on the proposed rule until April 3, 2023.

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