Madison, Wis., Aug 13, 2010 / 00:51 am
The Catholic Diocese of Madison is one of three dioceses in Wisconsin required under a new state law to provide coverage for contraception in insurance plans for diocesan employees.
According to the Wisconsin State Journal, the new law which took effect in January requires all commercial insurance policies with drug benefits to cover prescription contraceptives, with self-insured policies being exempt. When the law was passed, three of the five Wisconsin dioceses - Milwaukee, Madison and Green Bay - were affected.
Because the law allows employers to honor their current insurance contracts until they expire, the Diocese of Madison had until Aug. 1 to make a decision. Brent King, spokesman for the Madison Diocese, said that a self-insured plan was not financially possible.
Although the diocese's commercial insurance policy now covers contraception, employees will be expected to act according to their consciences and not use it, King explained. "If someone were to misuse that freedom in this regard, it could be grounds for termination,” he told the Wisconsin State Journal.