In an effort to appease religious organizations, the White House has come up with a compromise on the contraceptive issue. Churches and religious organizations would not have to pay for the contraceptive coverage–instead, the church or religious organization could "opt out" of paying for contraceptives, and the patient would receive contraceptive coverage through separate individual health insurance policies, without having to pay premiums or co-payments. The New York Times explains further:
Insurers would bear the initial cost, but would save money in the long run because they would “experience lower costs from improvements in women’s health and fewer childbirths,” the administration said…
Specifically, the administration says, employers must cover sterilization and the full range of contraceptive methods approved by the Food and Drug Administration, including emergency contraceptive pills, like those known as Ella and Plan B One-Step. Employers that do not provide such coverage will be subject to financial penalties.
The administration on Friday proposed a complicated arrangement to finance contraceptive coverage for employees of religious organizations that serve as their own insurers. The federal government would require health insurance companies to defray the cost indirectly, by paying higher fees for the privilege of selling health insurance to millions of Americans in new online markets run by the federal government.
The federal government was already planning to charge user fees to pay for the operation of those marketplaces, known as insurance exchanges. The cost of the fees can be passed on to consumers.
The plan will be unveiled on Friday, and the expected next step to to define exactly what a religious organization is. Policy changes are not final, and are subject to change depending upon the public reaction.