Again in October when the president signed an government order about contraception protection, we thought—and he in all probability thought—that it will permit non secular employers to disclaim contraceptive protection to their workers. Notre Dame thought that too. However it seems all of us have been improper.

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It appears to have gone like this. Notre Dame is a Catholic college, and holds the place that contraception is improper and dangerous. (Religions are bizarre, okay?) Federal legislation—the ACA—requires that insurance coverage cowl contraception with no out-of-pocket price. However Notre Dame stated, we don’t need to present contraception for our workers.

In the course of the Obama administration, the federal authorities stated, positive, we’ll pay for contraception—all that non secular employers should do is file a waiver saying they aren’t going to pay for it. The federal government will step in and choose up the tab.

However some employers stated that even submitting that waiver—which Notre Dame did—was nonetheless improper as a result of it brought about contraception to be offered to workers. This case went to the Supreme Court docket, and didn’t get resolved. Then the chief order appeared to finish the argument: employers may select to not pay for contraception protection, and their workers wouldn’t get contraception, and that was that. Notre Dame despatched a letter to its workers and college students, giving the required 60 days discover that contraception protection can be ending.


Aetna, which supplies Notre Dame’s insurance coverage, isn’t altering their plans. They’re simply selecting up the invoice themselves.

I requested Aetna if the explanation they’re overlaying the price is to adjust to the legislation, which can arguably require them to nonetheless cowl contraception for gratis, or as a result of it’s a no brainer that should you cowl maternity care, contraception reduces the variety of births you must pay for. A spokesperson advised me she wouldn’t reply questions on their association with Notre Dame. (Notre Dame didn’t return my calls.)

In any case, there could also be nothing the college can do about it. A Notre Dame spokesperson advised the South Bend Tribune that after the chief order, “we believed that insurance coverage firms would discontinue no price protection … Since then, we have now been knowledgeable that [our insurance company] will proceed such protection indefinitely.”

The assertion additionally says the college “is not going to intervene” with the insurance coverage firm’s protection, though it’s unclear whether or not there’s any means they might. So it’s attainable that—relying in your insurer—the chief order doesn’t give non secular employers the ability they thought it did.


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