The new rules allow most employers to strip birth control coverage from their employees for religious reasons or for undefined “moral objections”—which, in practice, can mean no reason at all. (You can read more about these changes on our blog!) But just because most employers could drop coverage, that doesn’t mean most will.
It is unclear exactly how many organizations will now plan to drop coverage for birth control. How the change affects you will have a lot to do with where you work or go to school and how you get your health insurance. If you are insured through a government program like Medicaid or Medicare, or if you get your health insurance through the individual market, you won’t be affected. (Although the rules permit insurance companies to drop contraceptive coverage on religious grounds, the chances of this happening are remote.) If you get your coverage through a publicly traded company (think Verizon or Bank of America), your coverage is also probably not at risk.
But both employees and students who get their health insurance through morally or religiously affiliated for-profit companies, non-profit organizations, universities, and schools may be affected by these rules. So, for example, students attending a Catholic university, staff at a Catholic high school, employees at a privately held for-profit company like Hobby Lobby, employees at a religiously affiliated non-profit like a Catholic hospital, and employees at a non-religious organization like March for Life could all be affected—even if they don’t share their employer or school’s objection.
The National Women’s Health Network has voiced our opinion on this recent birth control mandate, and supports all women’s right and privacy to make their own reproductive justice decisions.
Evita Almassi, MSW, served as the Communications and Digital Marketing Manager for the NWHN. Her 10+ years in nonprofit communications – especially with social media advocacy campaigns – enabled the NWHN to reach and empower more women in their health education and advocacy journeys.