WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – Women on birth control have gotten a long-awaited financial reprieve from the Obama administration Friday.

The White House announced that most health insurance plans will be required to cover birth control without charging co-pays or deductibles starting August 1, 2012.

The regulation follows the recommendation from federal health officials first proposed in the summer of 2011.

“This decision was made after very careful consideration, including the important concerns some have raised about religious liberty,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement. “I believe this proposal strikes the appropriate balance between respecting religious freedom and increasing access to important preventive services.”

Churches, synagogues, and other houses of worship will not have to follow the requirement.

But, religious-affiliated hospitals and universities will get just a one-year delay and will have to comply by Aug. 1, 2013, according to thehill.com.

Many health insurers already cover birth control, but several did not.

At the same time, almost all insurances covered the cost of Viagra, which led to outrage amongst women’s groups across the United States.


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