Some large, local companies have pledged to reimburse employees’ travel costs if they need to seek an abortion out of state.
These companies in (or planning to bring a large presence to) North Carolina responded to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade by instituting new benefits guidelines or telling employees they will reimburse out-of-state travel for reproductive healthcare.
Abortion is currently legal in North Carolina, but there are some laws that put regulations on the procedure. For the full list of restrictions in North Carolina, visit The Guttmacher Institute at guttmacher.org/fact-sheet.
Here are the local companies that have made these pledges:
North Carolina companies helping employees manage abortions
▪ Red Hat: The Raleigh-based technology corporation said the company’s U.S. benefits provider will cover up to $10,000 maximum (over the course of a lifetime) in travel expenses for an employee and a companion if it’s necessary to travel 60 miles or more to access in-network care.
A Red Hat spokesperson confirmed that abortions are one of the procedures covered by this reimbursement.
▪ Bank of America: The international investment bank is headquartered in Charlotte and employs about 16,000 workers in the city. The company said it would reimburse travel expenses for reproductive health care.
“For employees and their dependents who are enrolled in our US self-insured health plans, we have expanded the list of medical treatments that are eligible for travel expense reimbursement,” spokesperson Naomi R. Patton told The N&O. “This list will now include cancer treatment, organ transplants at centers of excellence, reproductive healthcare including abortion and hospital admissions for mental health conditions.”
▪ The Redwoods Group: The Morrisville-based insurance and risk-management company covers travel and related costs for reproductive care.
“We do cover those costs when connected with reproductive health care, including abortion, fertility treatments or gender-affirming surgery,” Kevin A. Trapani, co-founder and CEO of The Redwoods Group, told The N&O. “I was inspired by (fellow B-Corp) Patagonia’s decision to bail out their staff if their detained while protesting peacefully on behalf of reproductive health. We’ll consider doing that, too.”
▪ Google: Preparing for a large engineering hub in Durham, Google told its employees that they can apply to relocate without reason, according to Google’s letter to employees published in The Verge. (This isn’t a new benefit, but one that has already been in place for some time. As of last August, 85% of relocation requests were approved, Bloomberg reported.)
Google employees and their dependents also have benefits and health insurance that covers out-of-state medical procedures unavailable where employees live and work.
▪ Apple: This tech giant is bringing a campus to Research Triangle Park, gearing up for 3,000 new jobs and $1 billion investment to North Carolina.
Apple’s existing benefits package lets employees travel out of state for medical care that’s unavailable in their home state, an Apple spokesperson confirmed to CNN Business.
These companies will cover travel expenses for employees’ abortions
▪ Adobe: Adobe has previously said its health care policy covered travel expenses for abortions, the New York Times reported.
▪ Airbnb: Airbnb’s health plans provide coverage for reproductive services, including travel and temporary housing expenses, Law360 reported. Airbnb is also updating its leave policy to allow for up to 20 days of paid bereavement for a pregnancy loss.
▪ Alaska Airlines Inc.: Alaska Airlines will reimburse employee travel expenses for certain medical treatments and procedures unavailable where they live, Reuters reported.
▪ Amazon: Amazon announced in May that it would cover $4,000 in travel costs for employees seeking medical care, the Washington Post reported. The medical care could include abortion and gender-affirmation surgery. But this policy only applies to employees enrolled in the company’s healthcare plan, which excluded delivery drivers and gig workers.
▪ Biogen Inc.: Biogen said the company is making out-of-state medical care, including abortion access, accesible for employees, Bloomberg reported.
▪ Bristol Myers Squibb: “To ensure that our employees have access to comprehensive healthcare services, we are enhancing our current medical travel reimbursement policy in the US,” a spokesperson told The N&O.
▪ Buzzfeed: BuzzFeed’s chief executive, Jonah Peretti, told staff that the company would now provide stipends for employees who need to travel for abortions, the Times reported.
“The decision is so regressive and horrific for women that it compels us to step up as a company to ensure that any of our employees who are impacted have funding and access to safe abortions as needed,” he said.
▪ Cigna Corp: A spokesperson for Cigna told CT Insider that the company “already offers our employees and their families travel reimbursement for certain health services and we are expanding that benefit to include abortion care, gender-affirming care, and behavioral health services in states where access is restricted.”
▪ Citigroup: “In response to changes in reproductive healthcare laws in certain states in the U.S., beginning in 2022 we provide travel benefits to facilitate access to adequate resources,” Citigroup said in a publication in April.
▪ Condé Nast: Condé Nast “made enhancements to our U.S. health benefits to assist covered employees and their covered dependents in obtaining access to reproductive care regardless of where they reside,” CEO Roger Lynch said in a note to his staff, Variety reported. “Employees who need abortion, infertility or gender-affirming services who cannot obtain that care locally are now eligible for reimbursement on travel and lodging.”
▪ CVS Health Corp.: CVS said the company is making out-of-state medical care, including abortion, accessible for employees, Bloomberg reported.
▪ Dick’s Sporting Goods: “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,” Dick’s CEO Lauren Hobart announced on LinkedIn. This benefit will be provided to any teammate, spouse or dependent enrolled in our medical plan, along with one support person.”
▪ Disney: “We have communicated directly with our employees today that we recognize the impact of the ruling and that we remain committed to 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,” Disney shared with the Post.
The “family planning” benefit will be extended to any employee who can’t access care where they live, including “pregnancy-related decisions,” the Post reported.
▪ Door Dash: DoorDash will cover travel-related expenses for employees and dependents enrolled in DoorDash’s health care plans who have to travel out of state for abortion-related care, Protocol reported. Health care plans also cover reproductive care, including abortions.
▪ Duolingo: The language-learning company, based in Pennsylvania, said it will move the base of its operations elsewhere should the state ban abortions, CBS Pittsburgh reported.
A spokesperson said the company was “updating our benefits to ensure every Duolingo employee in the United States can access reproductive healthcare, including reimbursement for any travel expenses necessary for accessing abortion services,” Fast Company reported.
▪ H&M: H&M will cover travel and transportation expenses for employees living in states where abortion is restricted or banned, the Times reported.
▪ Levi Strauss & Co.: “Under our current benefits plan, Levi Strauss & Co. employees are eligible for reimbursement for healthcare-related travel expenses for services not available in their home state, including those related to reproductive health care and abortion,” an online letter from the company says. “There is also a process in place through which employees who are not in our benefits plan, including part-time hourly workers, can seek reimbursement for travel costs incurred under the same circumstances.”
▪ Lyft: A Lyft spokesperson told Reuters, “We believe access to healthcare is essential and transportation should never be a barrier to that access.”
▪ JPMorgan Chase: A spokeswoman for the nation’s largest bank said the company was focused on equal access to health care for all its employees, the Times reported. She highlighted a June 1 memo alerting employees that their travel costs would be covered if they needed to go more than 50 miles to receive certain medical procedures, including abortions.
▪ Meta: Bloomberg reported that Meta Platforms Inc., the owner of Facebook and Instagram, will reimburse travel expenses, “to the extent permitted by law, for employees who will need them to access out-of-state health care and reproductive services,” according to a spokesperson. The social-networking giant said it’s assessing how to do that, “given the legal complexities involved.”
▪ Microsoft: Microsoft came out with a policy on covering travel expenses for employees who need abortions when the leaked memo from the Supreme Court came out in May, the Times reported.
▪ Netflix: Netflix came out with a policy on covering travel expenses for employees who need abortions when the leaked memo from the Supreme Court came out in May, the Times reported.
▪ Patagonia: Patagonia will bail out any full- or part-time employee who peacefully protests for reproductive justice, the company said via a LinkedIn post. Additionally, U.S. employees on Patagonia;s health plans are covered for abortion care, and travel, lodging and food will be covered where restrictions exist.
▪ Paypal: A spokesperson for PayPal said that the company had implemented its policy covering travel expenses for out-of-state reproductive care in May following tTexas’ abortion ban, Law360 reported.
▪ Reddit: Reddit employees can get a stipend to cover travel for procedures including abortions, the Times reported.
▪ Starbucks: “We have provided partners enrolled in Starbucks healthcare plan a medical travel reimbursement benefit to access an abortion, and coming soon, access to gender-affirming care,” Sara Kelly, Starbucks’ senior vice president, wrote in an online memo.
▪ Tesla: The Texas-based company will cover transportation costs for employee abortions, the Times reported.
The company said in its 2021 impact report that it had begun offering “travel and lodging support for those who may need to seek healthcare services that are unavailable in their home state” last year.
▪ Uber: Uber said the company has insurance coverage for “a range of reproductive health benefits, including pregnancy termination,” and the company will commit to cover travel expenses for employees accessing health care services, the Times reported.
“We will also continue to stand behind drivers, reimbursing legal expenses if any driver is sued under state law for providing transportation on our platform to a clinic,” the company said.
▪ Vox Media: The media company said it would cover travel expenses for employee abortions, and it will expand pregnancy loss leave to cover those who get abortions, the Times reported.
▪ Yelp: Yelp announced in April that it would cover expenses for employees and their spouses who need to travel out of state for abortions, the Times reported. The company is based out of San Francisco and has over 4,000 employees.
▪ Zillow: On June 1, Zillow updated its health plan to reimburse employees up to $7,500 every time significant travel is necessary to access health care, which includes reproductive services or gender-affirming care, Law360 reported.
(Did we miss any? Let us know by emailing email@example.com.)
This story was originally published July 1, 2022 8:00 AM.
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