Federal agencies want to let more nonprofit employers get out of paying for birth control benefits, but the workers would still receive "first dollar" coverage for birth control.
"For-profit, secular employers" could not qualify for an exemption from the birth control benefits mandate.
The idea behind the provision, outlined in Section 2713 of the federal Public Health Services Act, is that having insurers pay for every dollar spent on high-value preventive services will reduce overall U.S. expenditures on health care.
A panel at the Institute of Medicine, a government advisory board, recommended that HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius put contraceptive services in the basic preventive services package. Sebelius added a contraceptive coverage mandate to the package in February 2012.