According to an internal memo, Walmart informed staff on Friday that it will be expanding its coverage for abortion and related travel.
As of right now, abortion will be covered by Walmart’s health insurance plans “where there is a health danger to the mother, rape or incest, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, or loss of foetal viability.”
With nearly 1.6 million employees, Walmart is the largest private employer in the country.
According to an internal memo, Walmart informed staff on Friday that it will be expanding its coverage for abortion and related travel. About two months after the Supreme Court invalidated the legal right to access the surgery, the alteration was made.
According to a message to employees acquired by CNBC, abortion would now be covered by Walmart’s health insurance plans “where there is a health risk to the mother, rape or incest, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage or loss of foetal viability.”
According to the email, which was written by Donna Morris, Walmart’s chief people officer, employees and their family members who are insured through Walmart would also have travel expenses paid if they cannot get a medical abortion within 100 miles of their location.
With roughly 1.6 million employees, Walmart is the largest private employer in the country. Its headquarters are in Arkansas, where there are already strong restrictions on abortion. It has been months since Target, Apple, and other companies expanded or confirmed their coverage of abortion. Although 90% of Americans live within a 10-mile radius of a Walmart shop, the retailer’s more than 4,700 locations may be found in both tiny towns and major cities. This makes Walmart’s policy choice symbolic.
Doug McMillon, the company’s CEO, stated in a memo to all employees last month that in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling, Walmart was “working deliberately and diligently to figure out the best route ahead.” Walmart at the time declined to comment on the adjustments the corporation was thinking about.
The store’s previous abortion coverage options were more constrained. 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 compromised if the foetus was carried to term, the foetus could not survive the birthing process, or the foetus would be imminently dead after birth,” according to the company’s employee handbook.
Morris included the abortion updates in a memo previewing Walmart’s open enrollment period, a time when employees sign up for benefits. She said that after “listening to our workers about what’s important to them,” the organisation made adjustments and prepared for the season.
She said in the memo, “We try to provide great, affordable, and accessible health coverage that supports you and your family.”
According to the document, the business is also opening a facility for reproductive treatments and expanding adoption financial aid from $5,000 to $20,000.
Arkansas, where Walmart is based, is one of many states having a “trigger legislation” that would restrict access to abortions as soon as Roe v. Wade was overturned. Except for those that are allowed to save a mother’s life, all abortions are illegal in the state.
Regarding Friday’s coverage increase, the business made no immediate comments.