HR Policy Association

HR Policy Members Explore Implications of Roe Reversal

HR Policy held a webinar to explore employer responses and considerations in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. Association staff and members discussed communication strategies, health care coverage for abortion and its implications, and the many thorny questions left open by the Supreme Court’s decision to end the federal right to abortion.

Most health plans already cover abortion: The webinar revealed the results of a recently conducted member-wide survey regarding employer responses to the decision. Nearly three-quarters of respondents already include abortion coverage in all circumstances in their health care plans, and another 19% cover abortion in some circumstances. Other highlights include:

  • 26% of respondents provide travel and lodging benefits for employees who need to travel for medical care, including abortion (if the procedure can’t be done within a certain mile radius);

  • 58% of respondents are planning to provide such benefits sometime in the future; and

  • 62% of respondents have issued or plan to issue internal communications regarding the Supreme Court’s decision, while only 5% have issued or plan to issue external communications. 

The full survey results can be found here.

Questions remain: The call examined the implications of potentially 26 states banning or significantly restricting abortions. This includes potential civil or criminal liability for employers who provide cost coverage for their employees in anti-abortion states to access abortions in states where it is legal. The discussion also covered the implications of different benefit designs, and remaining constitutional issues—such as the recognized constitutional right to travel—that could take years to resolve.

New executive order: President Biden has issued an executive order “Protecting Access to Reproductive Health Care Services.” The EO is of limited scope with no immediate impacts for large employers, and directs HHS to take additional action to protect access to medication abortion and contraception and ensure emergency medical care for pregnant women. The EO also directs the FTC to take steps to protect consumers’ privacy when seeking information related to abortion services. 

Outlook: As the decision’s impact continues to play out, HR Policy will hold additional calls and continue to provide helpful resources for members in the meantime.

Member Resources: 

Webinar Deck: Company Responses to Supreme Court Reproductive Rights Decision

Full Survey Results: Supreme Court Reproductive Rights Decision: Impact on Employers

Impact Areas Brief: Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Impact Areas: State Laws, ERISA Preemption, Federal Legislation

List of External Resources: Abortion Regulation: Employer Resources

Published on: July 8, 2022

Authors: Gregory Hoff

Topics: Employee Wellbeing, Employment Law, Federal Health Care Reform

Gregory Hoff

Associate Counsel, HR Policy Association

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