Companies announce travel reimbursements for employees who travel for abortions

Amanda Salazar, Editor-in-Chief

With a looming Supreme Court ruling that is expected to overturn Roe v. Wade, the historic court ruling that found abortion services to be a legal right of American citizens, corporations across the United States are pledging to increase their health benefits to help workers negatively affected.

If Roe v. Wade were to be reversed, it would mean that each state would have autonomy in creating laws regarding abortion, including laws that prohibit it under any circumstance.

There are currently about 26 states that are expected to outlaw or severely restrict abortion access, including Texas, which is home to multiple large companies, including car manufacturer Tesla Inc.

In response to the anticipated ruling against abortion, many large companies announced extended health benefits or reiterated current ones that allow employees, and potentially their dependents, to receive reimbursements for travel costs incurred when traveling to another state for an abortion.

Since the ruling would only strike down the federal law allowing abortions, it wouldn’t stop states from permitting abortions if they so choose.

Residents of one state are allowed to temporarily leave their state to have an abortion procedure in another state that will enable it.

These businesses have travel reimbursements in their health care plans. That way, staff may travel to another state for an abortion or any other medical treatment not available in their region and not have to worry about financing the trip.

Not all companies have the same guidelines regarding medical travel reimbursements, and some had these policies before the current situation with Roe v. Wade.

E-commerce platform Inc. is one of the largest U.S. companies currently offering these kinds of benefits to its employees. The company will pay up to $4,000 in travel expenses annually for any medical procedure 100 or more miles away from the employee’s home. Workers can retroactively request this money from as far back as January 2021.

Tesla Inc. has had a similar policy for about a year, which will reimburse employees for travel and accommodation expenses incurred for medical procedures not available in the worker’s home state.

Other companies who have similar assistance programs are Amalgamated Bank, which will cover for dependents as well; technology company Apple Inc., which covers abortion care and travel costs if necessary; financial institution Citigroup Inc., which is just starting to offer the benefit in March and food delivery service DoorDash Inc., which will cover certain travel expenses for staff and their dependents if they are covered by the company’s health plan.

Clothing brand Levi Strauss & Co., social network Bumble Inc., app-based ride service Lyft Inc., dating service Match Group Inc., software company Salesforce Inc., entertainment firm United Talent Agency and business review platform Yelp Inc. are also offering similar assistance.