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There's been a lot of discussion recently about contraception, spurred by the Obama administration's rule requiring most employers to provide prescription contraceptive coverage to their employees without additional cost.
The contraceptive coverage issue is interesting from several different perspectives. Rush Limbaugh and others have commented on the moral issues, religious arguments have been advanced, and Tim Worstall over at Forbes has raised a question about whether contraception is amenable to insurance as its financing method.
But what many people don't know is that employers have been required to provide contraceptive coverage under their health plans for years. Back in 2000, the EEOC issued a ruling that an employer's failure to provide contraceptive coverage as part of employer-sponsored health plans providing coverage of other presacription drugs and preventative services was a violation of the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act. This act was an amendment to Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act which outlaws (among other things) gender discrimination.
In this installment, we talk about what employers need to know about contraceptive coverage. We discuss the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the EEOC's ruling more than a decade ago, the Supreme Court's ruling on the issue regarding religious organizations, and other state and federal rulings on contraceptive coverage.