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WASHINGTON—The Obama administration said Friday that most religious-affiliated organizations will be given an additional year to comply with a final rule that will require employers to offer full health care coverage for contraceptive services.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Friday that religious-affiliated organizations, such as health care systems and universities that do not offer contraceptive services because of religious objections, would have to comply with the proposed rule for health care plan years that start on or after Aug. 1, 2013.
For other employers, the requirement, as the administration proposed last year, would apply for plan years that start on or after Aug. 1, 2012.
“This additional year will allow these organizations more time and flexibility to adapt to this new rule,” Ms. Sebelius said in a statement.
However, the additional time will not apply to churches, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship, which HHS exempted previously.
“I believe this proposal strikes the appropriate balance between respecting religious freedom and increasing access to important preventive services,” Ms. Sebelius said.