Notre Dame to allow no-cost contraceptive coverage for employees

NOTRE DAME, Ind. (WNDU) The University of Notre Dame will allow no-cost contraceptive coverage to be available to employees through a plan that will be administered and funded independently of the university.

The school had previously announced that coverage would end following President Donald Trump's decision to roll back the Affordable Care Act rule that requires employers to offer birth control coverage in their health insurance plans.

Notre Dame previously offered coverage through a third party, which allowed the university to meet the requirement while maintaining its religious opposition to contraceptives.

The university said at the time that its medical plan would cover contraceptives if they were used to treat a specific medical condition and not as a method to prevent pregnancy.

On Tuesday, Notre Dame announced that Meritain Health/OptumRx will continue to provide contraceptives at no charge to plan members or to the university.

"The University of Notre Dame, as a Catholic institution, follows Catholic teaching about the use of contraceptives and engaged in the recent lawsuit to protect its freedom to act in accord with its principles," the university said in an email to employees. "Recognizing, however, the plurality of religious and other convictions among its employees, it will not interfere with the provision of contraceptives that will be administered and funded independently of the University.



The following email was sent to employees on Tuesday, Nov. 7:

Dear Faculty and Staff,

This comes to provide an important update.

Your 2018 Open Enrollment decision guide included a notice titled: “The Availability of Separate Payments for Contraceptive Services.” This notice outlined a separate contraceptive plan available to University medical plan participants, funded by the federal government through the Affordable Care Act and managed by Notre Dame’s medical plan Third Party Administrator, Meritain Health, and prescription benefit manager, OptumRx. This plan was separate from the University medical plan and was not funded by the University.

As we noted in our message last week, the University recently settled its lawsuit challenging the Mandate, following a recent executive order that, among other things, removed the federal government’s requirement for the separate coverage. We indicated in last week’s message that the separate medical plan which provided contraceptives would terminate at the end of the current calendar year.

Meritain Health/OptumRx have advised that they will now continue to provide contraceptives to plan members at no charge. For more information about this plan, contact Meritain Health at 1-888-668-6855.

The University of Notre Dame, as a Catholic institution, follows Catholic teaching about the use of contraceptives and engaged in the recent lawsuit to protect its freedom to act in accord with its principles. Recognizing, however, the plurality of religious and other convictions among its employees, it will not interfere with the provision of contraceptives that will be administered and funded independently of the University.