Major employers will cover abortion-related travel after Roe’s cancellation

Some of the most recognized companies in the United States have indicated that they will expand out-of-state medical care coverage, decisions that will cover more than one million employees after the Supreme Court overturned an age-old ruling. half a century that protected the right to abortion.

Bellwether companies from the worlds of finance, media, technology and healthcare said they would fund travel for workers who need access to safe and legal abortions and other procedures. The court’s decision overturned a decades-old precedent that funders say has reshaped the modern economy by increasing opportunities for women.

JPMorgan Chase & Co.the largest bank in the United States, pay its employees travel to another state if necessary to obtain a legal abortion, according to information that was sent to all US employees this month. The benefit will come into effect on July 1.

Meta Platforms Inc., the owner of Facebook and Instagram, will reimburse travel expenses, “to the extent permitted by law, for employees who need them to access out-of-state health care and reproductive services,” according to a spokesperson. The social media giant said it was assessing how to proceed, “given the legal complexities involved”.

Read more: A complete list of U.S. employers instituting abortion access travel benefits

Walt Disney Co.., which has been mired in disputes with conservative leaders over its support for LGBTQ people, said it would cover travel costs for employees who cannot access the care they need in their state. Healthcare companies CVS Health Corp. and Biogene Inc. also said they make out-of-state medical care, including abortion, available to their employees. CVS had its plans in place before Friday’s decision, a spokesperson said.

Read more: Abortion travel emerges as a job perk as states reduce access

These major employers have joined their peers, including Microsoft Corp.which reiterated similar plans after the court ruling on Friday, which in recent weeks said they would provide such coverage to workers.

The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade’s 1973 ruling that enshrined the choice to terminate a pregnancy as a constitutional right is expected to lead to abortion restrictions in more than half of US states, with several having already passed new restrictive laws. which would be triggered by Roe’s inversion.

In the same way that the decision will create disparities in abortion access, it is not clear that all employers will follow in the footsteps of the big companies promising expanded benefits on Friday.

Asked in late May by consultancy Gartner what new policies they might adopt if Roe was canceled, 60% of human resources managers said they would add nothing. Less than 10% said they would pay some or all of employee travel costs to a reproductive care facility, or provide paid time off for procedures.

Charged Sunflower

Offering to pay for care received away from home allows companies to show support for abortion rights without taking more extreme measures like relocating workers and offices or changing donation policies. However, the math is heavy: While likely to comfort some workers, the approach could open companies up to criticism or retaliation from abortion opponents in states that pass restrictions.

“It’s the hottest hot potato,” said Davia Temin, founder of New York-based crisis consultancy Temin and Co. “Because businesses are commenting on social issues more than ever, the need to do the same around abortion is swirling in corporate America.”

Some leading companies had already agreed to cover travel costs and provide other support for employees who need to travel to another state for an abortion due to restrictions where they are based. The initiative, launched in March by Citigroup Inc. Chief executive officer Jane Fraserincludes companies such as Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc., Match Group Inc., Tesla Inc. and Yelp Inc.

Support for employee abortion travel has prompted threats from conservative states against some of the companies, particularly Citigroup, one of the largest US banks.

A Texas lawmaker said the bank could face criminal charges under that state’s abortion law, and Republican members of Congress have called for the cancellation of U.S. government contracts with Citigroup, which provides the credit cards that members of the United States House of Representatives use to pay for flights. , supplies and other goods.

Read more: Kavanaugh says states can’t ban travel to get an abortion

Yet the list of companies offering extended perks continues to grow.

Cigna Corp. will reimburse employees who must travel for abortion care, a company spokesperson said in an email. The Bloomfield, Connecticut-based healthcare conglomerate has employees in every state and already covers travel for certain medical needs.

Cigna said it is expanding that benefit to cover abortion, gender-affirming care and behavioral health care in states that limit access. The company also said it will continue to offer “meaningful options” for health coverage to customers, including travel benefits.

Elsewhere, mobile operator T-Mobile US Inc. expanded its health coverage for those who need to travel for health care in May, after a draft majority court opinion was leaked to the press. And Airbnb inc. On Friday, he highlighted commitments made last year “to ensure our employees have the resources they need to make choices about their reproductive care.”

Silent adaptation

While many companies announced changes on Friday, there’s a good chance many more will quietly adjust their health care policies to accommodate abortion changes, but remain mostly silent on the issues. policies raised by the court’s decision, according to Temin, the independent consultant. .

Additionally, while many business leaders have so far avoided making statements on the issue, most employees expect them to say or do something, according to Brian Kropp, head of research. on human resources at Gartner.

Rather than speaking out and risking a backlash, companies could let their internal healthcare policies and benefits do the talking.

“It has a bigger impact for employees because it’s a real resource allocation decision that you’re making,” Kropp said. “You’re not saying you disagree with the decision, but you want to support your employees with the health care needs they have.”

–With the help of Fiona Rutherford, Dina Bass, Scott Moritz, Michael Tobin, John Tozzi, Norah Mulinda, Amina Niasse, Elizabeth Moore, Hannah Levitt, Kelly Guiblom and Robert Langreth.

To contact the reporters on this story:
Jeff Green in Southfield, Michigan at [email protected];
Matthew Boyle in New York at [email protected]

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Crayton Harrison to [email protected]

Timothy Annett Richard Clough

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