EXEMPTIONS

Trump Administration Weakens Obamacare’s Birth-Control Mandate

The Trump administration issued two final rules on Wednesday that give employers exemptions from covering birth control in their health insurance plans. The Department of Health and Human Services issued one final rule that provides a contraceptive coverage exemption for “entities that object to such coverage based on religious beliefs,” and another rule that provides a “non-religious moral convictions” exemption to nonprofit organizations and small businesses, CNN reports. These two rules reportedly provide exemptions to the Obama-era Affordable Care Act’s mandate that required employer-provided health insurance to cover birth control as a “preventive service.” The new rules finalize interim rules issued last year. According to HHS, the rules will take effect 60 days after they are published in the Federal Register. Last year, HHS claimed that up to 120,000 women working in about 200 entities would be affected by the rules. The Associated Press reports women’s rights groups that sued the administration after the issues its interim rules say they will continue their court battle after Wednesday’s announcement.