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White House: Companies must notify workers when they don't cover birth control

AFP via Getty Images

If an employer wants to deny birth control coverage to an employee, the Obama administration says the objection must be fully disclosed.

Under a new clarification posted on the Department of Labor's website, employers have up to 60 days after adopting or changing a plan to give employees "a description of the extent to which preventive services (which includes contraceptive services) are covered under the plan."

The clarification is not a new rule. It simply explains that an existing regulation still applies to employers opting out of birth control coverage.

The Obama administration's regulatory clarification comes one day after Senate Republicans blocked a bill that would nullify the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision and require companies to provide birth control coverage to their employees.

A senior administration official said the White House would like Congress to take action that would "keep bosses from interfering in a woman’s health care." The official added, "In the meantime, we are making clear that if a corporation like Hobby Lobby drops coverage of contraceptive services from its health plan, it must do so in the light of day by letting its workers and their families know."