HHS, together with the Departments of Treasury and Labor, published a final rule on July 2, 2013 that modifies the Administration’s policy on the extent to which group health plans established by certain religious employers must cover contraceptive services without cost sharing. In short, the rule is intended to simplify the definition of a “religious employer” as it relates to contraceptive coverage to provide that an otherwise exempt plan is not disqualified because the employer's purposes extend beyond the inculcation of religious values or because the employer serves or hires people of different religious faiths. Consistent with the February 6, 2013 proposed rule, the final rule establishes accommodations for health coverage established or maintained by eligible non-profit religious organization, or arranged by eligible organizations that are religious institutions of higher education, with religious objections to contraceptive coverage. Affected plan participants will receive contraceptive coverage through separate individual health insurance policies, without cost sharing or additional premiums; the mechanisms for this coverage varies based on the type of plan. The final rule is effective on August 1, 2013. With the exception of the amendments to the religious employer exemption, which apply to group health plans and health insurance issuers for plan years beginning on or after August 1, 2013, these final regulations apply to group health plans and health insurance issuers for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2014.