Take A Pill

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services caused quite a stir recently when it made final a rule requiring private insurance plans to cover basic preventive services without an additional co-pay or deductible starting in 2012.

Why all the fuss? Among those preventive services — which include activities such as screening for gestational diabetes, breastfeeding support, and annual well-woman visits — is access to contraception. And while the rule exempts religious organizations (like, say, the Catholic church), many religiously-affiliated institutions that offer health insurance (like, perhaps, your local hospital or, in my backyard, Georgetown University) must comply. Those who want to cut past the spin can read the rule — including the test for whether an organization qualifies for the religious exemption. Read more…

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