Employer Exemption from the Contraceptive Mandate

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates that health-insurance coverage include contraceptives, exempting houses of worship from this requirement. Subsequently, this exemption was expanded to exempt more employers with religious and moral objections. This safeguard captures whether states maintain the existing federally exempt space for religious employers, either by having no state-level contraceptive mandate or by offering broad exemptions to their own mandate, or whether the state effectively reduces that space with its own mandate with no or narrow exemptions. The table below indicates whether a state has a contraceptive mandate and, if so, whether the state has an exemption only for houses of worship (a narrower set of employers than the current federal rules) or for a broad set of employers (in line with the current federal rule). States that have either no contraceptive mandate or whose mandate includes a broad religious exemption are indicated with checkmarks as providing a safeguard for religious employers in this regard. (For more about data collection on health insurance contraceptive mandates, please see the details here.)

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Note on citations:
Where multiple laws are cited, the link is for the first listed. To find subsequent laws -or- in cases where a state's laws are not possible to link to directly, use the citation number to manually navigate to the statute of interest. For more precise information on citations as well as our reasoning behind each score, download the full data set which includes additional research notes.