Disney, Netflix, Comcast say they will cover employee travel for abortions

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The Walt Disney Co. said Friday it would cover employee travel expenses for abortions in light of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Roe v. Wade, the latest corporate giant to make the move as companies scramble to adjust to the new reality.

The benefit covers the cost of travel for “family planning” for any worker who cannot access care where they live, Disney said, including “pregnancy-related decisions.” The company employs 195,000 worldwide, including roughly 80,000 in Florida.

“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 said in a statement to The Post.

A torrent of similar announcements rolled in Friday from companies such as Netflix, Paramount, Sony and Comcast, underscoring corporate America’s unusual role in safeguarding reproductive rights following the high court’s ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Dick’s Sporting Goods will reimburse as much as $4,000 in abortion travel expenses “to the nearest location where that care is legally available” for employees, their spouses and dependents in states where access is restricted, chief executive Lauren Hobart announced on LinkedIn Friday.

“We recognize people feel passionately about this topic — and that there are teammates and athletes who will not agree with this decision,” Hobart said. “However, we also recognize that decisions involving health and families are deeply personal and made with thoughtful consideration. We are making this decision so our teammates can access the same health care options, regardless of where they live, and choose what is best for them.”

Ride-hailing service Lyft said Friday that its US medical benefits plan includes coverage for “elective abortion and reimbursement for travel costs” if an employee must travel more than 100 miles for an in-network provider.

“Transportation should never be a barrier to access and we will continue to stand up for the privacy and choice of our drivers, riders and team members across the country,” Kristin Sverchek, Lyft’s president of business affairs, said in a blog post.

Effective in July, JPMorgan Chase is expanding travel benefits for any covered service that can only be obtained more than 50 miles from an employee’s home, the company told The Post. The policy will apply to US employees who are enrolled in its medical plan, as well as covered partners and dependents.

“As always, we’re focused on the health and well-being of our employees, and want to ensure equitable access to all benefits,” said Patricia Wexler, head of corporate communications at the investment bank.

Companies have been planning for the Roe reversal for weeks — ever since the court’s draft opinion was leaked in early May and Texas passed its own restrictive abortion law earlier this year.

Companies such as Apple have said it would cover medical expenses for workers in Texas who might have to go ut of state to seek abortions. Salesforce offered to relocate workers.

Amazon said in May it would cover $4,000 in travel costs for US workers seeking medical care, including abortion and transgender surgery. But the policy only applies to employees enrolled in the company health care plan, excluding the gig workers, warehouse employees and delivery drivers that keep the e-commerce giant humming.

Many other corporate human resource leaders and company officials also have been busy plotting out what actions to take, said Jen Stark, a director at the management consulting firm BSR.

Some firms already have made internal announcements about expanding existing health benefits to include travel or access for abortion services, she said.

“I would expect to see in the next 24 to 48 hours more statements and more internal policy announcements becoming public,” Stark said.

For these companies, abortion is being treated like an organ transplant. It is specialized medical care that might not be available close by or within a state, and so insurance will help cover the cost of travel and paid sick leave.

“This is the mainstreaming of this kind of care,” Stark said.

Emily Dickens, head of government affairs at the Society for Human Resource Management, said that employers will need to continue following local, state and federal laws and regulations regarding abortion.

“New SHRM research shows that nearly a quarter of organizations agree that offering a health savings account to cover travel for reproductive care in another state will enhance their ability to compete for talent,” Dickens said. “But how these policies interact with state laws is unclear, and employers should be aware of the legal risks involved.”

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