Oklahoma Senate panel passes bill to ignore federal contraceptive insurance law

BY BARBARA HOBEROCK World Capitol Bureau
Thursday, February 21, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY — Employers in Oklahoma could opt not to include contraceptives and abortions in employee insurance plans under a measure that secured passage by a Senate committee Thursday.

The measure, Senate Bill 452 by Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, passed the Senate Business and Commerce Committee by a vote of 9-0 with no debate and now heads to the full Senate.

“Notwithstanding any other provision of state or federal law, no employer shall be required to provide or pay for any benefit or service related to abortion or contraception through the provision of health insurance to his or her employees,” the bill says.

Under the federal Affordable Health Care Act, employee group insurance plans are required to cover contraception unless the business offering the benefit meets the conditions of being a religious organization, said Mike Rhoades, Oklahoma Insurance Department deputy commissioner of life and health insurance.

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