Catholic nursing homes will be affected by HHS contraception regulation

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About 500 Catholic nursing homes in the United States will be affected by a regulation requiring employer health insurance plans to cover contraceptive services.

This new regulation, which is enforced by the Department of Health and Human Services, takes effect Aug. 1, 2012, and mandates that most employer-provided health insurance plans cover contraceptive services without charging a co-pay, co-insurance or deductible. Nonprofit employers with religious beliefs that prevented them from offering contraception, such as some Catholic universities or healthcare systems, will have an additional year to comply. Houses of worship are exempt from the mandate.

Those that don't comply with the law will be required to provide notice to employees about where they can find contraception, such as in community health centers, public clinics and hospitals, Sebelius said.  

LeadingAge, an organization that represents nonprofit and religious-based nursing homes, said it does not have a position on this issue. According to January 2012 statistics from the Catholic Health Association of the United States, there are about 497 Catholic long-term nursing facilities nationwide. It is unclear how many, if any, currently cover contraceptive services in their employee insurance plans.

 

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