Employer Considerations for Possible Abortion Law Changes

On May 2, 2022, a draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health was leaked to the press, and as a result the Court is expected to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, effectively leaving the issue of abortion rights to the states. 

Employers across the country have been contemplating the potential impact of the anticipated decision on their employee benefit plans, and some large national employers have publicly announced their intention to provide travel benefits to defray the costs for employees and other plan participants who travel across state lines where necessary to receive a legal abortion. Below, we highlight some issues employers may want to consider in connection with the coverage of abortion services under their plans. Here are a few things to consider regarding employment law, medical plan coverage, and employee privacy: 

  • Employment Considerations
    • Workplace discussions
    • Leave rules
    • Solicitations
  • Medical Plan Considerations
    • ERISA Preemption
    • Travel cost as medical expenses
  • Privacy Considerations
    • Cybersecurity
    • HIPAA

Are employers required to cover abortion? Will group health plans still be allowed to cover abortion? What potential legal issues should employers consider? Are there any actions employers should consider immediately, if Roe is overturned?

For a detailed review of these questions (as well as Group Health Plan Considerations, Mental Health Parity Questions, Health Savings Account Rules/FSA Considerations, and Anticipating State Law Restrictions on Abortion), you can visit: Group Health Plan Considerations in the Face of (Potentially) Changing Abortion Laws


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