"[Friday's] announcement reinforces our commitment to respect the concerns of houses of worship and other nonprofit religious organizations that object to contraceptive coverage, while helping to ensure that women get the care they need, regardless of where they work," said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
Early last year, the Obama administration said that universities, hospitals, and other employers with a religious affiliation could avoid paying directly for contraceptives.
Under that Obamacare arrangement, insurance companies would instead provide coverage and pay for it.
The rule requires an institution's health insurer or third-party insurance administrator to notify employees about birth control benefits and provide beneficiaries with direct payments that cover the cost of contraceptive services.
The announcement by Sebelius puts into effect a requirement that has been beset by more than a year of talks between administration officials and religious employers.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and other denominations oppose contraception on religious grounds and have protested against the requirement, along with conservatives.
"We have received and started to review the 110-page final rule," New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the conference’s president, said in a statement. "It will require more careful analysis. We will provide a fuller statement when that analysis is complete." ' - Obamacare Ruling: Religious Employers Must Provide Birth Control Coverage, Newsmax, 06/28/2013
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