The Toll of Traveling for Health Care

A growing number of companies have announced abortion-related healthcare benefits in an attempt to recruit and retain workers in states that are likely to lose abortion access if Roe v. Wade is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. 

The efforts demonstrate the steadfast tie between employers and individuals’ access to healthcare. But some are seeking to weaken that tie. GOP Senator Marco Rubio has introduced legislation that takes aim at companies attempting to fortify employee access to abortion services or gender-affirming care through travel reimbursements. 

As access to legal abortion continues to shrink across the country, job seekers are cognizant of the immense impact their place of work can have in their personal lives:

Organizations operating in states with pending legislation restricting abortion access are offering travel reimbursements as part of their health benefit policies – employees’ privacy concerns notwithstanding.

Notably, Amazon – one of the nation’s largest private employers – announced it would cover up to $4,000 in annual travel costs for employees who must travel over 100 miles for medical services. The benefit is not specific to abortion and includes other non-life-threatening treatments.

However, those who do not have full-time jobs with health benefits – or who work for companies that do not view abortion as a primary health benefit – will continue to face the impact of sweeping state bans, resulting in truncated access to abortion and subsequent economic fallout. Public health research has shown that individuals who are denied access to an abortion are more likely to be unemployed and face financial insecurity compared to those with access.