HHS finalizes new contraception rules
Planned Parenthood clinic in Chicago, Illinois. Photo: Scott Olson via Getty Images
Another significant change in HHS' program integrity rule: The department wants insurers to send consumers separate bills for medical coverage and whatever coverage they might provide for abortion.
How it works: Federal law says federal funding — including premium subsidies under the ACA — can't be used to cover abortion, and requires insurers to segregate the money they use to provide coverage for abortion services.
- That segregation will need to include a whole separate billing process if this proposed rule is finalized.
- HHS said insurers should "send an entirely separate monthly bill to the consumer for only the portion of premium attributable to abortion coverage" — which, according to earlier policy outlines, could be as low as $1.
On a similar note, HHS also finalized rules yesterday making it easier for employers to opt out of the ACA's contraception mandate if they have religious — or, in some cases, moral — objections to birth control.
- Small businesses, schools, insurance companies and individuals can claim either a religious or moral exemption.
- Large, for-profit employers do not appear to be able to claim the moral exemption, but non-profits and small businesses can.
The other side: ACA legal expert Nicholas Bagley has argued that the exemption for moral objections is illegal.