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As federal mandate looms, 28 states require contraceptive coverage

CWN - August 09, 2011

Twenty-eight states currently require insurance plans to offer coverage for contraception, and 17 offer a religious exemption.

Beginning in August 2012, all private insurers must provide women with coverage for FDA-approved contraception--including sterilization and contraceptives that have an abortifacient effect--under a new federal mandate announced on August 1 by the US Department of Health and Human Services. The current state mandates generally provide a more generous religious exemption than the new federal mandate, which will require Catholic hospitals and social service agencies to offer contraception coverage.

Catholic News Service notes that unlike the looming federal mandate, “most existing state mandates often do not apply to self-insured health plans, plans under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and plans that did not cover prescriptions at all.”

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