The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in May to overturn Roe v. Wade has sent shock waves through the employee benefits world. Suddenly, nothing associated with reproductive rights—including fertility services, contraceptives, and gender reassignment—seems safe from criminalization. Many plan sponsors want to protect employees’ reproductive rights. But how to proceed?

Interviews with reproductive rights and benefits plan experts suggest plan sponsors may want to move cautiously before converting individual actions and decisions into plan policies. Clearly, there are cases involving pregnant plan members where timely decisions are of the essence, but sponsors will be well served to await further developments, especially at the state level, before staking out a position in certain key areas.

The landscape is complicated and evolving. Sponsors must take into consideration their status as either self-funded or fully insured, as well as plan demographics, applicable state and federal law, and ERISA. Are there workarounds to reimburse employees without making an insurance claim?

 

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