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Companies offering abortion travel benefits face privacy hurdles

Byden Holds Abortion Meeting with Governor

US Supreme Court on Abortion During the second half of the century when federal rights were revoked, companies such asAmazon, Disney, Apple, and JP Morgan have been able to have abortions in states where procedures are currently illegal. I promised to cover the travel expenses of the employees who live in.

However, companies provide little or no details on how to do this, and can it be legal while protecting employee privacy and keeping it safe from prosecution? It's not clear.

"Most employers aren't ready to overthrow Roe, and even employers who are unaware of the law will literally change in the next moment," said consulting firm Gartner. Vice President Brian Cropp said. .. "They are trying to catch up."

According to Klopp, many companies have the infrastructure to makework. It is said that it has announced plans to offer travel benefitseven without it. Some have created supplementary policies that employees can purchase to cover abortion trips, while others have contacted the insurance company to see if they can add the trip to their current plan. Others are trying to find ways to benefit without invading employee privacy.

"Do employees have to tell their boss that they have to travel from Texas to California to have an abortion?" Klopp said.

The answer is no — but they will have to tell human resources or similar departments that they are pregnant and want to have an abortion, Sharo, a professor of health law at Case Western Reserve University. Nahoffman said. The company or its health insurance company will then provide the money in advance or give a refund after the fact.

Hoffman promises "generous profits" from businesses for travel expenses, "even if this becomes a practice of more businesses, without defeating it," fearing a backlash. He said he was not surprised. It can be accompanied by an official statement on divisive issues such as abortion.

"It's not necessarily altruistic," she said. "It also makes sense for businesses not to have a lot of employees who are very suffering because they have to have an unwanted pregnancy and give birth to a child."

So far. Most large companies offering abortion travel benefits are likely to add it to their existing medical plans, and Jonathan Zimmerman, a partner at Morgan Lewis, a law firm that helps companies develop and maintain benefits. Says.

Large companies generally have self-insurance. This means you can pay for all your bills and have more flexibility in deciding what to plan for. The third party then processes the claim on behalf of the third party.

This is the case for Patagonia, an outdoor clothing company that renewed its health insurance last fall and added employee travel expenses after the Texas law prohibiting most abortions came into force. Patagonia said abortion and travel expenses are managed in the same way as other medical services, ensuring employee confidentiality.

Yelp, a restaurant review company, said abortion travel benefits are also managed by health insurance companies. Yelp tells employees that if you use a travel allowance, Yelp will not have access to service details.

Meanwhile, Microsoft points out that it already covers abortion and gender-verifying care for employees, including travel expenses for "these and other legitimate medical services." Enlarged the cover. Not available at the employee's home.

SMEs may have few options. They usually purchase employee health insurance from insurance companies that are subject to state regulation. These companies may be operating in states that have less flexibility in designing profits and prohibit abortion.

Included Health Chief Health Officer Dr. Ami Parekh provides employers with healthcare navigation services and virtual care, and large employers can navigate this fast-moving landscape. So far, he said it was a "significant battle". ..

"They are moving as fast as possible," Palek said. "And when things happen, they will be agile and change as needed."

For example, some businesses travel with people who have had an abortion. Offering to pay a partner for.

The legal situation is changing rapidly, adding the benefits of travel to current health care plans. In May, 14 Texas parliamentarians sent a letter to Lyft. I warned the company to cancel the benefits of an abortion trip.

However, there is currently no such law in Texas or elsewhere. It is also not illegal to travel to a state where abortion is legal.

And while the Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protects sensitive patient information, it can be dismissed if a crime is committed. A state where abortion is a crime.

“It's difficult for employers to navigate the rapidly evolving legal situation,” said Sharon Masling, head of the Morgan Lewis Reproductive Task Force. "There will be many proceedings in the next few years."

In addition to legal issues, the benefits of abortion travel also present some annoying workplace issues, Klopp said. I am saying. Employees who do not support abortion, for example, may be angry that their company is paying for other employees' travel expenses. Even those who support abortion may wonder why the company isn't paying them to travel for fertility treatment or transgender health care, he said.

This is why some companies offer travel benefits, but are unlikely to announce them.

"In my sense, most employers try to figure out what's best for their employees and their dependents very quickly," said Palek. "And not all employers want to spend energy to make it very public at this time."


In the Associated Press staff writer Halleluya Hadero and Anne D'Innocenzio in New York, and Matt O'Brien in Providence, Rhode Island contributed to the story.

  • US Supreme Court
  • Texas
  • Abortion
  • Civil Rights
  • Healthcare

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