November 30, 2022

Hotokenewbrunswick

Travel Anywhere

The companies pledging to cover travel costs for employees who travel out of state for an abortion

After the Supreme Court ruled on Friday to overturn Roe v. Wade, corporate giants from a range of industries pledged to provide support and financial assistance for employees — and, in some cases, their dependents — seeking abortions in states that outlaw the procedure.The court’s decision to overturn the 50-year-old landmark ruling, which protected the federal, constitutional right to an abortion, is expected to transform the landscape of reproductive health in America, leaving abortion policy up to individual states and paving the way for numerous states to pass new abortion restrictions. As of Friday afternoon, state officials in at least seven states said that new abortion bans can now be enforced.Millions of people seeking abortions could soon be forced to travel across state lines to access the procedure, adding to the cost of an already often expensive healthcare service. For many, employers’ benefit packages may be the only way they can afford an abortion.In response, corporations, some with headquarters or offices in Republican-controlled states, are taking action. Companies such as Citigroup, Salesforce and Match Group first promised financial support to employees seeking abortions in affected states after a draft version of the Supreme Court’s opinion leaked in May. Many more followed suit on Friday. Some, including Bumble and Lyft, also previously said they would donate to organizations that support women’s rights, such as Planned Parenthood and Fund Texas Choice. Here are some of the prominent companies offering expanded assistance to staff in states curtailing abortion care.MicrosoftMicrosoft extended its financial support for “critical healthcare,” including abortions and gender-affirming care, to include coverage for travel expenses for such services, after the draft opinion overturning Roe was first leaked.AppleThe company’s existing benefits package allows employees to travel out of state for medical care if it is unavailable in their home state, according to an Apple spokesperson.MetaThe tech giant intends to offer travel expense reimbursement “to the extent permitted by law” for employees seeking out-of-state health care and reproductive services, according to a spokesperson. “We are in the process of assessing how best to do so given the legal complexities involved,” the Meta spokesperson said in a statement.AmazonIn May, the nation’s second-largest private employer said it would cover up to $4,000 per year in travel expenses for staff members seeking non-life-threatening medical care, including abortions if care isn’t available within 100 miles of where they live.TeslaThe electric vehicle maker said in its 2021 impact report that it will help provide travel and lodging “for those who may need to seek health care services that are unavailable in their home state” as part of its expanded Safety Net program and health insurance offering. Tesla’s headquarters moved to Texas in 2021, a state that has banned abortions after six weeks.CitigroupCitigroup in March became one of the largest U.S. companies to commit to covering employees’ travel costs if they need to leave their state to seek an abortion.”In response to changes in reproductive healthcare laws in certain states in the US, beginning in 2022 we provide travel benefits to facilitate access to adequate resources,” Citi said in a letter to shareholders as part of its annual proxy statement.Dick’s Sporting GoodsLauren Hobart, president and CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods, posted on LinkedIn on Friday that the company was “prepared to ensure that all of our teammates have consistent and safe access to the benefits we provide, regardless of the state in which they live.””In response to today’s ruling, we are announcing that if a state one of our teammates lives in restricts access to abortion, DICK’S Sporting Goods will provide up to $4,000 in travel expense reimbursement to travel to the nearest location where that care is legally available. This benefit will be provided to any teammate, spouse or dependent enrolled in our medical plan, along with one support person,” Hobart’s post says.DisneySources including CNBC and Reuters have obtained a copy of an internal memo sent to Disney employees, which outlines the company’s stance on providing reproductive care in light of the Supreme Court decision. The memo is signed by Paul Richardson, Disney’s chief human resources officer, and Pascale Thomas, vice president of enterprise benefits and well-being.“Our company remains committed to removing barriers and providing comprehensive access to quality and affordable care for all of our employees, cast members and their families, including family planning and reproductive care, no matter where they live,” Richardson and Thomas wrote in the memo.“In fact, we have processes in place so that an employee who may be unable to access care in one location has affordable coverage for receiving similar levels of care in another location,” the memo continues. This travel benefit covers medical situations related to cancer treatments, transplants, rare disease treatment and family planning (including pregnancy-related decisions).”NetflixThe streaming company offers travel reimbursement coverage for U.S. full-time employees and their dependents who need to travel for healthcare treatments including abortions and gender-affirming care, a Netflix spokesperson told CNN. The company provides a lifetime allowance of $10,000 per employee (or their dependents) per service.Comcast-NBC UniversalComcast has an existing healthcare travel benefit for all employees that covers up to $4,000 per trip, up to three trips per year, with a maximum coverage cap of $10,000 per year. The amount paid out depends on the type of health care procedure, but abortion care is covered, according to the company.Warner Bros DiscoveryWarner Brothers Discovery, which owns CNN, on Friday expanded healthcare benefits options to include expenses for employees and their covered family members who need to travel to access abortions and other reproductive care, according to a company spokesperson.JPMorgan ChaseJPMorgan on Friday said that its health care benefits have long covered abortion care. And starting in July, abortion will be included in the company’s health care travel benefit that covers services that can only be obtained far from home, according to spokesperson Joseph Evangelisti.NikeThe sportswear company said in a statement that it covers travel and lodging expenses in situations where healthcare services are not available close to home, according to a statement Nike released Friday.”No matter where our teammates are on their family planning journey — from contraception and abortion coverage, to pregnancy and family-building support through fertility, surrogacy and adoption benefits — we are here to support their decisions,” the statement reads.KrogerThe grocer’s healthcare package includes travel benefits of up to $4,000 to facilitate access for reproductive healthcare services, including abortion and fertility treatments, according to a Kroger spokesperson.Alaska AirlinesAlaska Airlines said in a statement that it has always provided travel reimbursements for “certain medical procedures and treatments if they are not available where you live.””Today’s Supreme Court decision does not change that,” it said.Goldman SachsGoldman Sachs on Friday extended its healthcare travel reimbursement policies to include all medical procedures, treatments and evaluations, including abortion services, in areas where a provider is not available near to where its employees live, a benefit that will be effective July 1, according to an internal memo obtained by CNN.ZillowZillow said in a statement Friday that its health benefits cover a wide range of reproductive health services, including abortions. The company said that as of June 1, its health plan has been updated to include a reimbursement of up to $7,500 “each time significant travel is necessary to access health care, including reproductive services.”BumbleThe dating app company, which is based in Austin, Texas, in September created a fund “supporting the reproductive rights of women and people across the gender spectrum who seek abortions in Texas.””Bumble is women-founded and women-led, and from day one we’ve stood up for the most vulnerable,” the company initially posted on Twitter. Relief funds will go to organizations that support women’s reproductive rights, including Fund Texas Choice, according to Bumble.Levi StraussThe clothing company called protecting access to reproductive care a critical business issue.”Efforts to further restrict or criminalize that access would have far-reaching consequences for the American workforce,” the company told CNN Business in a statement. “Given what is at stake, business leaders need to make their voices heard and act to protect the health and well-being of our employees. That means protecting reproductive rights.”Under Levi’s benefits plan, employees can be reimbursed for travel expenses for services not available in their home state, including abortion. Part-time staff and others who aren’t included in the company’s benefits plan are also eligible for reimbursement, it said.Lyft & UberThe ride-sharing rivals each announced in September that they would create legal defense funds to protect any drivers who might be sued under the Texas law for driving a person who receives an abortion.The law’s wording leaves open the possibility that a driver could be sued, possibly even if they didn’t know an abortion was happening, according to Elizabeth Sepper, a law professor at the University of Texas at Austin.Lyft also said it would donate $1 million to Planned Parenthood “to ensure that transportation is never a barrier to healthcare access.”Match GroupThe Dallas-based company that owns Match.com and several dating apps including Tinder, OkCupid and Hinge, also announced in September a fund to ensure its employees and their dependents would be able to seek reproductive care outside of Texas.”The company generally does not take political stands unless it is relevant to our business,” said CEO Shar Dubey in a memo at the time. “But in this instance, I personally, as a woman in Texas, could not keep silent.”SalesforceSalesforce announced in September that it would assist its employees and their families if they want to leave Texas after the state passed the nation’s most restrictive abortion law.The cloud computing company told its 56,000 employees that they “stand with all of our women at Salesforce and everywhere.”Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff tweeted at the time: “Ohana if you want to move we’ll help you exit TX. Your choice.” (“Ohana” is the Hawaiian word for “family.”)YelpA representative for the San Francisco-based company said its employee health insurance already covers abortion care, but starting in May, Yelp pledged to cover travel expenses for any U.S. employees and their dependents who need to travel out of state to access abortion care.The benefit extends to staff and dependents affected by any current or future restrictions on reproductive rights.As a remote-first company with a distributed workforce, “it’s a priority for us to offer our employees consistent health care coverage, regardless of where they live,” a representative said.StarbucksStarbucks’ health care plan is offering reimbursement for travel for abortion or gender-affirming procedures when those are not available within 100 miles of an employee’s home. Dependents who use Starbucks’ medical plan are also eligible for these benefits.”Regardless of what the Supreme Court ends up deciding, we will always ensure our partners have access to quality healthcare,” wrote Sara Kelly, acting EVP of Partner Resources at the company, in a May 16 letter.Kelly added that the company’s benefits team is working on details of the new benefit, including timing.The Associated Press contributed to this report.

After the Supreme Court ruled on Friday to overturn Roe v. Wade, corporate giants from a range of industries pledged to provide support and financial assistance for employees — and, in some cases, their dependents — seeking abortions in states that outlaw the procedure.

The court’s decision to overturn the 50-year-old landmark ruling, which protected the federal, constitutional right to an abortion, is expected to transform the landscape of reproductive health in America, leaving abortion policy up to individual states and paving the way for numerous states to pass new abortion restrictions. As of Friday afternoon, state officials in at least seven states said that new abortion bans can now be enforced.

Millions of people seeking abortions could soon be forced to travel across state lines to access the procedure, adding to the cost of an already often expensive healthcare service. For many, employers’ benefit packages may be the only way they can afford an abortion.

In response, corporations, some with headquarters or offices in Republican-controlled states, are taking action. Companies such as Citigroup, Salesforce and Match Group first promised financial support to employees seeking abortions in affected states after a draft version of the Supreme Court’s opinion leaked in May. Many more followed suit on Friday.

Some, including Bumble and Lyft, also previously said they would donate to organizations that support women’s rights, such as Planned Parenthood and Fund Texas Choice.

Here are some of the prominent companies offering expanded assistance to staff in states curtailing abortion care.

Microsoft

Microsoft extended its financial support for “critical healthcare,” including abortions and gender-affirming care, to include coverage for travel expenses for such services, after the draft opinion overturning Roe was first leaked.

Apple

The company’s existing benefits package allows employees to travel out of state for medical care if it is unavailable in their home state, according to an Apple spokesperson.

Meta

The tech giant intends to offer travel expense reimbursement “to the extent permitted by law” for employees seeking out-of-state health care and reproductive services, according to a spokesperson. “We are in the process of assessing how best to do so given the legal complexities involved,” the Meta spokesperson said in a statement.

Amazon

In May, the nation’s second-largest private employer said it would cover up to $4,000 per year in travel expenses for staff members seeking non-life-threatening medical care, including abortions if care isn’t available within 100 miles of where they live.

Tesla

The electric vehicle maker said in its 2021 impact report that it will help provide travel and lodging “for those who may need to seek health care services that are unavailable in their home state” as part of its expanded Safety Net program and health insurance offering. Tesla’s headquarters moved to Texas in 2021, a state that has banned abortions after six weeks.

Citigroup

Citigroup in March became one of the largest U.S. companies to commit to covering employees’ travel costs if they need to leave their state to seek an abortion.

“In response to changes in reproductive healthcare laws in certain states in the US, beginning in 2022 we provide travel benefits to facilitate access to adequate resources,” Citi said in a letter to shareholders as part of its annual proxy statement.

Dick’s Sporting Goods

Lauren Hobart, president and CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods, posted on LinkedIn on Friday that the company was “prepared to ensure that all of our teammates have consistent and safe access to the benefits we provide, regardless of the state in which they live.”

“In response to today’s ruling, we are announcing that if a state one of our teammates lives in restricts access to abortion, DICK’S Sporting Goods will provide up to $4,000 in travel expense reimbursement to travel to the nearest location where that care is legally available. This benefit will be provided to any teammate, spouse or dependent enrolled in our medical plan, along with one support person,” Hobart’s post says.

Disney

Sources including CNBC and Reuters have obtained a copy of an internal memo sent to Disney employees, which outlines the company’s stance on providing reproductive care in light of the Supreme Court decision.

The memo is signed by Paul Richardson, Disney’s chief human resources officer, and Pascale Thomas, vice president of enterprise benefits and well-being.

“Our company remains committed to removing barriers and providing comprehensive access to quality and affordable care for all of our employees, cast members and their families, including family planning and reproductive care, no matter where they live,” Richardson and Thomas wrote in the memo.

“In fact, we have processes in place so that an employee who may be unable to access care in one location has affordable coverage for receiving similar levels of care in another location,” the memo continues. This travel benefit covers medical situations related to cancer treatments, transplants, rare disease treatment and family planning (including pregnancy-related decisions).”

Netflix

The streaming company offers travel reimbursement coverage for U.S. full-time employees and their dependents who need to travel for healthcare treatments including abortions and gender-affirming care, a Netflix spokesperson told CNN. The company provides a lifetime allowance of $10,000 per employee (or their dependents) per service.

Comcast-NBC Universal

Comcast has an existing healthcare travel benefit for all employees that covers up to $4,000 per trip, up to three trips per year, with a maximum coverage cap of $10,000 per year. The amount paid out depends on the type of health care procedure, but abortion care is covered, according to the company.

Warner Bros Discovery

Warner Brothers Discovery, which owns CNN, on Friday expanded healthcare benefits options to include expenses for employees and their covered family members who need to travel to access abortions and other reproductive care, according to a company spokesperson.

JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan on Friday said that its health care benefits have long covered abortion care. And starting in July, abortion will be included in the company’s health care travel benefit that covers services that can only be obtained far from home, according to spokesperson Joseph Evangelisti.

Nike

The sportswear company said in a statement that it covers travel and lodging expenses in situations where healthcare services are not available close to home, according to a statement Nike released Friday.

“No matter where our teammates are on their family planning journey — from contraception and abortion coverage, to pregnancy and family-building support through fertility, surrogacy and adoption benefits — we are here to support their decisions,” the statement reads.

Kroger

The grocer’s healthcare package includes travel benefits of up to $4,000 to facilitate access for reproductive healthcare services, including abortion and fertility treatments, according to a Kroger spokesperson.

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines said in a statement that it has always provided travel reimbursements for “certain medical procedures and treatments if they are not available where you live.”

“Today’s Supreme Court decision does not change that,” it said.

Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs on Friday extended its healthcare travel reimbursement policies to include all medical procedures, treatments and evaluations, including abortion services, in areas where a provider is not available near to where its employees live, a benefit that will be effective July 1, according to an internal memo obtained by CNN.

Zillow

Zillow said in a statement Friday that its health benefits cover a wide range of reproductive health services, including abortions. The company said that as of June 1, its health plan has been updated to include a reimbursement of up to $7,500 “each time significant travel is necessary to access health care, including reproductive services.”

Bumble

The dating app company, which is based in Austin, Texas, in September created a fund “supporting the reproductive rights of women and people across the gender spectrum who seek abortions in Texas.”

“Bumble is women-founded and women-led, and from day one we’ve stood up for the most vulnerable,” the company initially posted on Twitter.

Relief funds will go to organizations that support women’s reproductive rights, including Fund Texas Choice, according to Bumble.

Levi Strauss

The clothing company called protecting access to reproductive care a critical business issue.

“Efforts to further restrict or criminalize that access would have far-reaching consequences for the American workforce,” the company told CNN Business in a statement. “Given what is at stake, business leaders need to make their voices heard and act to protect the health and well-being of our employees. That means protecting reproductive rights.”

Under Levi’s benefits plan, employees can be reimbursed for travel expenses for services not available in their home state, including abortion. Part-time staff and others who aren’t included in the company’s benefits plan are also eligible for reimbursement, it said.

Lyft & Uber

The ride-sharing rivals each announced in September that they would create legal defense funds to protect any drivers who might be sued under the Texas law for driving a person who receives an abortion.

The law’s wording leaves open the possibility that a driver could be sued, possibly even if they didn’t know an abortion was happening, according to Elizabeth Sepper, a law professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

Lyft also said it would donate $1 million to Planned Parenthood “to ensure that transportation is never a barrier to healthcare access.”

Match Group

The Dallas-based company that owns Match.com and several dating apps including Tinder, OkCupid and Hinge, also announced in September a fund to ensure its employees and their dependents would be able to seek reproductive care outside of Texas.

“The company generally does not take political stands unless it is relevant to our business,” said CEO Shar Dubey in a memo at the time. “But in this instance, I personally, as a woman in Texas, could not keep silent.”

Salesforce

Salesforce announced in September that it would assist its employees and their families if they want to leave Texas after the state passed the nation’s most restrictive abortion law.

The cloud computing company told its 56,000 employees that they “stand with all of our women at Salesforce and everywhere.”

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff tweeted at the time: “Ohana if you want to move we’ll help you exit TX. Your choice.” (“Ohana” is the Hawaiian word for “family.”)

Yelp

A representative for the San Francisco-based company said its employee health insurance already covers abortion care, but starting in May, Yelp pledged to cover travel expenses for any U.S. employees and their dependents who need to travel out of state to access abortion care.

The benefit extends to staff and dependents affected by any current or future restrictions on reproductive rights.

As a remote-first company with a distributed workforce, “it’s a priority for us to offer our employees consistent health care coverage, regardless of where they live,” a representative said.

Starbucks

Starbucks’ health care plan is offering reimbursement for travel for abortion or gender-affirming procedures when those are not available within 100 miles of an employee’s home. Dependents who use Starbucks’ medical plan are also eligible for these benefits.

“Regardless of what the Supreme Court ends up deciding, we will always ensure our partners have access to quality healthcare,” wrote Sara Kelly, acting EVP of Partner Resources at the company, in a May 16 letter.

Kelly added that the company’s benefits team is working on details of the new benefit, including timing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.