Following the United States Supreme Court June 24
Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Healthwhich reverses
Roe v. Wade Deciding and allowing states to restrict or end abortions, more large U.S. companies said they would pay employees who need to travel abroad for abortions.
However, it is unclear how widely the expansion of abortion-related benefits will be.in early June
Survey of 1,000+ HR Professionals According to the SHRM Institute, only 5% of respondents said their organization plans to offer travel expense benefits (Gas, airline tickets, hotels) Outside of a Health Savings Account (HSA) for employees to use abortion and reproductive services not available in their state of residence.
Another survey question asked whether knowing that an employee could use HSA funds to pay for travel-related expenses to receive reproductive health care, including an abortion in another state, would affect the employer’s contribution to the employee’s HSA. Among respondents from organizations that currently contribute to employee HSAs:
- The majority of organizations (87%) would not change their HSA contributions.
- 10% would consider increasing their employer contributions.
- 3% would consider reducing their employer contributions.
However, many high-profile companies are advertising their support for abortion travel benefits, while other groups may do so with less fanfare to avoid controversy.Even before the Supreme Court ruling, Amazon, one of the largest private-sector employers in the U.S., said it would
Pay up to $4,000 per year in travel expenses Have employees perform abortions in states where the procedure is legal, and
Microsoft says it will expand benefits Pay employees who seek abortions and other procedures in different states.
To this end, they added
List of major US companies Abortion-related benefits are being improved.
Human Resource Management Online The following articles were collected to investigate employers’
Dobbs Decisions and questions about abortion travel benefits.
JPMorgan and Condé Nast to cover abortion travel costs
Dobbs The decision triggered internal memos from employees and statements from several companies pledging to ensure that their benefit plans cover the cost of abortion travel. Among them, financial services firm JPMorgan Chase told employees that it would cover the cost of travel to states where abortion is legal starting in July if they lived in a state that banned abortion. Media company Condé Nast will also pay for travel and lodging if employees need to travel for an abortion, according to an internal memo to employees. They join other major U.S. companies that have earlier pledged to pay for such travel.
Benefits include travel for spouse, support staff
Dick’s Sporting Goods will reimburse employees for up to $4,000 in travel expenses to the nearest location where abortion is legally available. “This benefit will be available to any teammate, spouse or dependent on our medical plan, and a support staff member,” Dick’s president and CEO Lauren Hobart tweeted.
Entertainment companies highlight benefits of abortion
Dobbs The decision, which is expected to result in about half of the U.S. states restricting or banning abortion, has sparked an outcry from Hollywood companies including Disney, Netflix, Comcast, Paramount, Warner Bros. Discovery, Sony, WME, CAA and UTA. reaction.
In an email to employees, Paramount highlighted the company’s health policy, including coverage for travel-related expenses “if covered health services such as abortion are prohibited in your area.” Warner Bros Discovery’s chief people and culture officer said: “We are immediately expanding our health care benefit options to include expenses for employees and their insured family members who travel for a range of medical procedures, including abortion care, family planning and reproductive health.”
Others quietly offer travel support
While many companies have made abortion support changes after going public
Dobbs Davia Temin, founder of crisis consultancy Temin and Co, said others would quietly adjust their health care policies to accommodate changes in abortion, but remained silent on the political issues raised by the court ruling.
Also, rather than speaking up and risking backlash, companies may let their internal health care policies and benefits speak for themselves, says Brian Kropp, the company’s head of human resources, because so far , many company leaders have largely avoided making a statement on the issue. Consulting firm Gartner.
Coverage outside of a health plan
While some employers are adding abortion coverage under their group health plans, others are offering benefits outside of their health plans—for example, by creating a relief fund to pay for employees and dependents who need to travel to another state, or By providing a – time bonus for travel and procedure expenses in states that allow abortion care.
While this approach may seem simple, there are risks, such as the need to respect employees’ right to keep their healthcare decisions confidential without properly documenting the costs incurred.
Self-insured companies are more flexible than others in setting health benefits, said Emily Dickens, head of government affairs at the Institute for Human Resource Management.
in a prospective survey Dobbs In making the decision, companies most likely said they would allow paid time off as a way to provide better reproductive health care, she said. However, about 30 percent of organizations said they would add support for reproductive health care to their employee assistance programs, and nearly as many said they would offer benefits that cover reproductive health care travel in another state.
“But how these policies interact with state law is unclear, and employers should be aware of the legal risks involved,” Dickens said.
Comparison with Organ Transplantation
Abortion is seen as an organ transplant for companies that offer higher benefits. This is specialty medical care that may not be available nearby or in the state, so insurance will help cover the cost of travel and paid sick leave.
“This is the mainstreaming of this kind of care,” said Jen Stark, director of management consulting firm BSR.
Texas and Oklahoma target ‘help and abet’ campaign
Anti-abortion laws passed in Texas and Oklahoma explicitly classify employer-covered or reimbursed abortion services prohibited by insurance or benefit plans in those states as “aiding and abetting” illegal abortions, while other state laws do not Employers are expressly prohibited from covering abortion or providing services through employer insurance. It’s unclear whether Texas and Oklahoma will try to enforce their laws when people living in one of those states seek abortion services outside state lines. Doing so could raise constitutional issues that could be the subject of ongoing litigation.
Tax and Coverage Parity Issues
Certain travel and lodging expenses can be reimbursed as “health care” and therefore do not count against the employee’s income, but third-party administrators may be unwilling or unable to administer the travel reimbursement program immediately.
Employers considering reimbursement for certain medical travel—but not travel related to mental health or substance use disorder benefits—may want to assess risk under the Mental Health Equity and Addiction Equity Act, which requires employers to pay for mental health and Medication provides insurance. Addiction treatment is done on an equal basis with their physical health care coverage.