The target will cover employee travel to other states for abortions

A person walks into a Target store in Washington, DC, May 18, 2022.

Stefani Reynolds | AFP | Getty pictures

The target will cover employees’ travel if they live in a state where abortion is prohibited, according to a company memo obtained by CNBC.

The new policy will take effect in July, according to the email, which was sent to employees Monday by Target’s Chief Human Resources Officer Melissa Kremer.

“For years, our health benefits have included some financial support for travel, when team members needed selected health procedures that were not available where they live,” Kremer said in the note. “A few months ago, we began to reassess our benefits with the goal of understanding what it would look like if we extended the travel allowance to any care that is necessary and covered – but not available in the team member’s community. This effort became even more relevant. as we learned of the Supreme Court’s ruling on abortion, given that it would affect access to health care in some states. “

With the reversal of Roe v. Wade, the country has been divided into states where abortion is legal and states where it is prohibited. The court decision has led to a wave of announcements from companies that have committed to providing travel coverage for employees as part of their health insurance plans. This list goes across industries and includes JPMorgan Chase, Dicks Sporting Goods and Rivian.

Some companies, such as Amazon, have already announced travel coverage for employees who need to seek reproductive health care in other states before the Supreme Court decision. The technology giant said it will pay up to $ 4,000 in travel expenses annually for abortions and other non-life-threatening medical treatments.

Target did not immediately respond to a request for comment about whether the travel policy would include a dollar limit. It did not say how it plans to protect the privacy of employees seeking travel reimbursement.

In the note, the dealer said that the reimbursement policy for health services will include travel for mental health, heart treatment and other services that are not available near employees’ homes, in addition to reproductive care.

Kremer said Target updated its policy to “ensure that our team has equal access to high-quality, affordable care through our health benefits.”

In the note, Target did not take a position on the Supreme Court decision. Kremer praised Target’s staff for how they “recognize and respect a wide range of beliefs and opinions that other team members and guests hold close – even if those beliefs are different from their own.”

Other companies have remained silent in the wake of the Supreme Court decision. Walmart, the largest private employer in the United States, declined to say if or how it will allow employees to access abortions in states where they are illegal. The headquarters are in Arkansas, a state that already has a law on the books to trigger a ban.

However, Walmart covers travel expenses for some medical treatment – including certain heart surgeries, cancer treatments and organ transplants – that employees receive in hospitals in other states or cities far from home.

The Supreme Court’s decision has created outrage from some employees who have pressured their companies to go further. Hundreds of Amazon employees have signed an internal petition asking the company to condemn the Supreme Court ruling, halt operations in states with abortion bans and allow workers to move to other states if they live in a restricted procedure, according to Business Insider.

CNBC’s John Rosevear contributed to this article.