45 CFR 147.131 - Accommodations in connection with coverage of certain preventive health services.
(c)Eligible organizations for optional accommodation. An eligible organization is an organization that meets the criteria of paragraphs (c)(1) through (3) of this section.
(2) Notwithstanding its exempt status under § 147.132(a) or § 147.133, the organization voluntarily seeks to be considered an eligible organization to invoke the optional accommodation under paragraph (d) of this section; and
(3) The organization self-certifies in the form and manner specified by the Secretary or provides notice to the Secretary as described in paragraph (d) of this section. To qualify as an eligible organization, the organization must make such self-certification or notice available for examination upon request by the first day of the first plan year to which the accommodation in paragraph (d) of this section applies. The self-certification or notice must be executed by a person authorized to make the certification or provide the notice on behalf of the organization, and must be maintained in a manner consistent with the record retention requirements under section 107 of ERISA.
(4) An eligible organization may revoke its use of the accommodation process, and its issuer must provide participants and beneficiaries written notice of such revocation as specified in guidance issued by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. If contraceptive coverage is currently being offered by an issuer through the accommodation process, the revocation will be effective on the first day of the first plan year that begins on or after 30 days after the date of the revocation (to allow for the provision of notice to plan participants in cases where contraceptive benefits will no longer be provided). Alternatively, an eligible organization may give 60-days notice pursuant to section 2715(d)(4) of the PHS Act and § 147.200(b), if applicable, to revoke its use of the accommodation process.
(d)Optional accommodation - insured group health plans -
(1)General rule. A group health plan established or maintained by an eligible organization that provides benefits through one or more group health insurance issuers may voluntarily elect an optional accommodation under which its health insurance issuer(s) will provide payments for all or a subset of contraceptive services for one or more plan years. To invoke the optional accommodation process:
(i) The eligible organization or its plan must contract with one or more health insurance issuers.
(ii) The eligible organization must provide either a copy of the self-certification to each issuer providing coverage in connection with the plan or a notice to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services that it is an eligible organization and of its objection as described in § 147.132 or § 147.133 to coverage for all or a subset of contraceptive services.
(B) When a notice is provided to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, the notice must include the name of the eligible organization; a statement that it objects as described in § 147.132 or § 147.133 to coverage of some or all contraceptive services (including an identification of the subset of contraceptive services to which coverage the eligible organization objects, if applicable) but that it would like to elect the optional accommodation process; the plan name and type (that is, whether it is a student health insurance plan within the meaning of § 147.145(a) or a church plan within the meaning of section 3(33) of ERISA); and the name and contact information for any of the plan's health insurance issuers. If there is a change in any of the information required to be included in the notice, the eligible organization must provide updated information to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services for the optional accommodation to remain in effect. The Department of Health and Human Services will send a separate notification to each of the plan's health insurance issuers informing the issuer that the Secretary of the Deparement of Health and Human Services has received a notice under paragraph (d)(1)(ii) of this section and describing the obligations of the issuer under this section.
(2) If an issuer receives a copy of the self-certification from an eligible organization or the notification from the Department of Health and Human Services as described in paragraph (d)(1)(ii) of this section and does not have an objection as described in § 147.132 or § 147.133 to providing the contraceptive services identified in the self-certification or the notification from the Department of Health and Human Services, then the issuer will provide payments for contraceptive services as follows -
(i) The issuer must expressly exclude contraceptive coverage from the group health insurance coverage provided in connection with the group health plan and provide separate payments for any contraceptive services required to be covered under § 141.130(a)(1)(iv) for plan participants and beneficiaries for so long as they remain enrolled in the plan.
(ii) With respect to payments for contraceptive services, the issuer may not impose any cost-sharing requirements (such as a copayment, coinsurance, or a deductible), premium, fee, or other charge, or any portion thereof, directly or indirectly, on the eligible organization, the group health plan, or plan participants or beneficiaries. The issuer must segregate premium revenue collected from the eligible organization from the monies used to provide payments for contraceptive services. The issuer must provide payments for contraceptive services in a manner that is consistent with the requirements under sections 2706, 2709, 2711, 2713, 2719, and 2719A of the PHS Act. If the group health plan of the eligible organization provides coverage for some but not all of any contraceptive services required to be covered under § 147.130(a)(1)(iv), the issuer is required to provide payments only for those contraceptive services for which the group health plan does not provide coverage. However, the issuer may provide payments for all contraceptive services, at the issuer's option.
(3) A health insurance issuer may not require any documentation other than a copy of the self-certification from the eligible organization or the notification from the Department of Health and Human Services described in paragraph (d)(1)(ii) of this section.
(e)Notice of availability of separate payments for contraceptive services - insured group health plans and student health insurance coverage. For each plan year to which the optional accommodation in paragraph (d) of this section is to apply, an issuer required to provide payments for contraceptive services pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section must provide to plan participants and beneficiaries written notice of the availability of separate payments for contraceptive services contemporaneous with (to the extent possible), but separate from, any application materials distributed in connection with enrollment (or re-enrollment) in group health coverage that is effective beginning on the first day of each applicable plan year. The notice must specify that the eligible organization does not administer or fund contraceptive benefits, but that the issuer provides separate payments for contraceptive services, and must provide contact information for questions and complaints. The following model language, or substantially similar language, may be used to satisfy the notice requirement of this paragraph (e) “Your [employer/institution of higher education] has certified that your [group health plan/student health insurance coverage] qualifies for an accommodation with respect to the Federal requirement to cover all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive services for women, as prescribed by a health care provider, without cost sharing. This means that your [employer/institution of higher education] will not contract, arrange, pay, or refer for contraceptive coverage. Instead, [name of health insurance issuer] will provide separate payments for contraceptive services that you use, without cost sharing and at no other cost, for so long as you are enrolled in your [group health plan/student health insurance coverage]. Your [employer/institution of higher education] will not administer or fund these payments . If you have any questions about this notice, contact [contact information for health insurance issuer].”
(f)Definition. For the purposes of this section, reference to “contraceptive” services, benefits, or coverage includes contraceptive or sterilization items, procedures, or services, or related patient education or counseling, to the extent specified for purposes of § 147.130(a)(1)(iv).
(g)Severability. Any provision of this section held to be invalid or unenforceable by its terms, or as applied to any person or circumstance, shall be construed so as to continue to give maximum effect to the provision permitted by law, unless such holding shall be one of utter invalidity or unenforceability, in which event the provision shall be severable from this section and shall not affect the remainder thereof or the application of the provision to persons not similarly situated or to dissimilar circumstances.