Navigating employer benefits in the post Roe v. Wade world

While this isn’t a straightforward issue, there are options available to employers of all sizes as long as you carefully consider the best fit from a coverage, compliance, and administration perspective.

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade, many employers wondered what, if anything, they needed to do. Almost immediately, we saw news about large companies exploring options to help employees in states with newly triggered abortion bans to travel to places where they could get abortion care. But for small and midsize businesses that don’t have the assets of a large corporation — or the flexibility of a self- funded plan — providing a reproductive health care benefit isn’t always straightforward.

In today’s work-anywhere world, many employers will have employees in states with and without restrictions. It’s important to understand how state laws and group health plan funding could impact an employer’s ability to offer coverage. Providing some type of travel-related benefit can be an excellent option if employers understand the nuanced compliance and tax implications that come with specific designs.

If an employer decides that they want to make changes to its reproductive health care offering, they will need to prepare for the ramifications of that change. So the question becomes, how can an employer ensure they target the demographic they want to support without creating a logistical, financial, and compliance nightmare?