The move comes in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s groundbreaking 5-4 decision in the Hobby Lobby case, which maintained that certain businesses can reject on religious grounds the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to provide employees with birth control coverage.
The Obama administration on Friday moved to enact new rules that help ensure contraception coverage for employees of certain companies that have religious objections to birth control.
The new rule would seek to isolate the employers from the coverage they found morally objectionable. They’d be able to notify the government of their objections, which in turn would notify the insurance companies and order them to provide the coverage at no cost.
Without the change, the religious-minded employers have to contact the insurance companies directly.
It was unclear if the new approach would avert legal challenges.
“Today’s announcement reinforces our commitment to providing women with access to coverage for contraception, while respecting religious considerations raised by non-profit organizations and closely held for-profit companies,” Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said in a statement.