Religious coalition launches health act coverage push

WASHINGTON: The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice has launched a public education campaign that will inform women about contraceptive coverage and other services now provided under the Affordable Care Act for free.

WASHINGTON: The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice has launched a public education campaign that will inform women about contraceptive coverage and other services now provided under the Affordable Care Act for free.

Beginning August 1, many health insurance plans will include no-cost coverage for contraception for women when their plan years or policy years renew. Other new offerings that are to come gratis include an annual well-woman visit and domestic violence counseling.

The major outreach component of the campaign involves the coalition giving information that its constituent clergy can share with their congregants. Other campaign components include media outreach, an online quiz, handouts, email messaging, and outreach through social media channels including Facebook and Twitter. No external agency is assisting the effort.

The coalition's membership includes Catholics for Choice, the United Church of Christ, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ, and United Methodist Church.

The campaign launch comes just days after a Colorado business owned by a Catholic family temporarily won the right not to comply with the mandate for insurance coverage of birth control as it conflicted with their religion. The ruling only affects this particular plaintiff, but it opened the door for any company to seek relief on religious grounds.

Rev. Harry Knox, president and CEO of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, said the timing of his organization's campaign and the Colorado judge's ruling is coincidental, though he strongly disagrees with the action. He feels it is the “moral choices of individual employees, and not the desires of the employer that should be protected.”

He noted that 98% of women of all religions use contraception at some point in their lives.

The Department of Health and Human Services picked Porter Novelli earlier this year to launch a national multimedia education campaign to promote the benefits of the Affordable Care Act. The contract was worth $17 million.

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