Following the Jan. 20 HHS announcement on religious employer exemptions from the rule on preventive health services for women, CHI expressed its concern about the lack of clarity on conscience protections.
On Feb. 10, the White House issued a revision to the rule. Under this latest policy, religious organizations will not have to provide contraceptive coverage or refer their employees to organizations that provide contraception. These organizations will also not be required to subsidize the cost of contraception. However, the rule states that contraceptive coverage will be offered to women by their employers’ insurance company directly, which would theoretically remove the role of the religious employer who is opposed to contraception. Insurance companies would be required to provide contraceptive coverage to women without charge.
CHI is analyzing the new rule to gain an understanding of what the impact will be on self-insured organizations such as CHI. Until CHI has a clear understanding of the impact on self-insured organizations, it would be premature to issue a position on the new rule. CHI is hopeful that self-insured organizations such as CHI will be exempted from violating their beliefs while being in compliance with the law.