A quarter (26 per cent) of U.S. employers are considering expanding the abortion services they cover, according to a new pulse survey by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.
Almost half (46 per cent) of respondents said they aren’t making any changes to coverage levels, while 26 per cent don’t know or are waiting to see, two per cent said they’re unable to make plan changes due to legal requirements and fewer than one per cent noted they’re exploring a reduction in or elimination of covered abortion services.
In terms of what abortion services employers currently cover, three-quarters (73 per cent) of respondents said they cover non-elective/medically necessary services, followed by elective/non-medically necessary services (60 per cent), medications (52 per cent), telehealth (32 per cent), travel to the location where services are performed (10 per cent) and lodging near the location where services are performed (nine per cent).
In addition, employers are grappling with concerns resulting from the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to end the nation’s constitutional protections for abortion. These include: the legal ramifications (35 per cent); administrative complexity (15 per cent); impact on employee recruitment/retention (seven per cent); additional costs (six per cent); potential reputation/public relations issues (five per cent); and coordinating multiple plans (two per cent).
Survey respondents also cited concerns such as employee health ramifications, future division among workers, mental-health impacts, religious-based plans and confusion about whether to provide travel and lodging per Internal Revenue Service guidelines.