Walmart expands abortion coverage for employees after Roe v Wade
Customers outside a Walmart store in Torrance, California, US, on Sunday, May 15, 2022. Walmart Inc. is scheduled to release earnings figures on May 17.
Bing Guan | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Walmart on Friday told employees that it will expand abortion and related travel coverage, according to an internal memo. The change comes about two months after the Supreme Court struck down the federal right to access the procedure.
Effective immediately, Walmart’s health care plans will cover abortion “when there is a health risk to the mother, rape or incest, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage or lack of fetal viability,” according to the memo to employees, which was reviewed by CNBC.
Employees and their family members who are insured through Walmart will also have travel costs covered, if they cannot access a legal abortion within 100 miles of their location, according to the email, which was sent by Walmart’s Chief People Officer Donna Morris.
Morris included the abortion updates in a memo previewing Walmart’s open enrollment period, a time when employees sign up for benefits. She said the company prepared for the season and made changes after “listening to our associates about what’s important to them.”
“We strive to provide quality, competitive and accessible health coverage that supports you and your families,” she said in the memo.
Walmart is the nation’s largest employer with about 1.6 million employees. Last month, the company’s CEO, Doug McMillon, sent an employee-wide email saying that Walmart was “working thoughtfully and diligently to figure out the best path forward” after the Supreme Court decision. Walmart at the time didn’t say what changes the company was considering.
Walmart previously offered more limited abortion coverage. According to the company’s employee handbook, charges for “procedures, services, drugs and supplies related to abortions or termination of pregnancy are not covered, except when the health of the mother would be in danger if the fetus were carried to term, the fetus could not survive the birthing process, or death would be imminent after birth.”
The company did not immediately offer comment.
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