Costs for an individual woman vary depending on the form of birth control. Generics are available at Walmart pharmacies, for example, for around $9 a month. Brand-name contraceptives are more expensive, and some IUDs may cost $500 up front but last as long as 10 years.
A government report suggests the average cost to insurers ranges from $26 to $41 a year per woman for providing the coverage.
Q: What's been the reaction to Obama's concession?
A: It will take time to see if it tamps down the furor.
Some conservatives say it doesn't go far enough. They would like a conscience exemption for any employer, not just religious ones.
Women's groups are relieved that Obama has proposed a plan that maintains access for all women.
Catholic hospitals are saying they can support the compromise, as are anti-abortion Catholics who helped pass the health care overhaul in Congress. The bishops say they're still concerned but are reserving judgment until they talk with the administration.
Q: How did the administration get itself into such a mess in the first place?
A: Maybe they should have listened to people like Sister Carol Keehan, head of a Catholic hospitals trade group.
She and other prominent Catholics defied the bishops to support passage of Obama's health care overhaul at a critical stage of the congressional debate. Democratic Catholic lawmakers thought they had an iron-clad deal with the administration to protect the conscience rights of religious employers.
Associated Press writer Connie Cass contributed to this report.
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