After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, a number of corporations across the country announced plans to cover travel costs for employees seeking an abortion. Many of these companies are based in Austin or have significant operations in the metro area.
Under the state’s “trigger law” set to go into effect in the coming weeks, performing an abortion in Texas at any point in a pregnancy will become a felony.
Some companies made similar moves as laws restricting abortion were implemented in some states after a Supreme Court draft majority opinion leaked in May that suggested justices would reverse Roe v. Wade.
Here’s a look at some of the companies with ties to Austin that expanded coverage:
Advanced Micro Devices
The technology company, which is formally headquartered in California but has most of its senior leadership and operations based in Austin, where it employs about 2,400 people, said all AMD employees and dependents participating in its U.S. health care plan will receive travel and lodging reimbursement for covered medical services not able to be performed in their state of residence.
“Providing equal access to quality health services for all AMDers, no matter where they live, has been a fundamental tenet of our benefits approach for many years,” the company told the American-Statesman.
Reuters reported in May that the e-commerce giant, which has an estimated 11,000 Austin-area employees, will pay up to $4,000 every year for travel expenses for “non-life-threatening medical treatments” including abortion.
This policy is available to U.S. employees — warehouse and corporate workers — and covered dependents enrolled in Premera or Aetna health plans, Reuters reported. It applies if an operation isn’t available within 100 miles of an employee’s home and virtual care isn’t an option.
The policy became retroactively available starting Jan. 1.
This technology company confirmed to CNBC that employees can use company benefits to access medical care out-of-state. About 7,000 people work for Apple in the Austin metro area.
“As we’ve said before, we support our employees’ rights to make their own decisions regarding their reproductive health. For more than a decade, Apple’s comprehensive benefits have allowed our employees to travel out-of-state for medical care if it is unavailable in their home state,” a company spokesperson said to CNBC.
In an internal memo from September, Apple indicated that it was monitoring abortion laws in Texas, and it said employees could get out-of-state medical care using company benefits if it was unavailable in their home state.
The Austin-based dating and social networking company has said it is implementing benefits to support reproductive health and family planning services for employees, including abortion care and related travel costs, as well as fertility treatment, egg-freezing, adoption and surrogacy.
Bumble said in a written statement that it made financial contributions to the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas and Planned Parenthood Federation of America. It also signed the “Don’t Ban Equality” statement, which opposes restricting access to abortion-related services.
“At Bumble, we believe in the right to choose and to exercise control over our bodies. The safety, privacy, and freedom of family planning are critical to equality for all — and that includes covering access to abortion care,” the company’s statement said. “We will continue to support our employees to get access to the health care services that they need.”
The company created a fund in September to support reproductive rights and help people access abortions in Texas after a law went into effect prohibiting abortions at as early as six weeks.
After the draft opinion was leaked in May, this independent game developer’s CEO Max Hoberman tweeted that the company will cover “pre-approved, documented, reasonable out-of-pockets costs” for employees to relocate to another state or province the company operates in if an employee’s state restricts access to “what a majority of medical experts consider essential care, and this makes remaining there untenable for you and your family.”
The company, which is headquartered in Austin, retweeted this statement after the June 24 ruling.
Technology giant Dell Technologies, which is headquartered in Round Rock and has about 13,000 employees in the Austin metro area, said it’s working with its health care plan administrators to make sure its health coverage gives employees access to “all types of covered care, even when providers are not available in a team member’s home location.”
“Our priority remains on our team members’ health and well-being,” the company said.
Online job-hunting service Indeed, which has about 2,800 workers in Austin, tweeted that employees on company insurance “will continue to be reimbursed for travel expenses for covered medical procedures that are unavailable where they live.”
“Anything that limits the freedom of women and those who can become pregnant to make their own decisions about their health hurts them and society,” the statement said. “Limiting access to safe and affordable health care will hit hardest in marginalized communities, especially people of color and those in lower income brackets.”
Indeed spokesperson Jyotsna Grover told the Statesman that employees don’t need to indicate the type of medical procedure or disclose any details to their manager to claim this benefit.
Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, which employs about 2,000 people in the Austin metro area, said it will offer employees travel expense reimbursements “to the extent permitted by law” to access out-of-state health care and reproductive services.
“We are in the process of assessing how best to do so given the legal complexities involved,” spokesperson Andrea Beasley said.
The investment company, which is the principal owner of the new Moody Center at the University of Texas at Austin, said in an Instagram post that it will “cover any necessary travel costs for our female employees to access the care they need outside of their state.”
Austin-based automaker Tesla announced in May that it would cover travel costs for employees seeking out-of-state abortions.
In its 2021 “Impact report,” Tesla said it expanded its Safety Net program and health insurance offerings last year to include "travel and lodging support for those who may need to seek healthcare services that are unavailable in their home state."
This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Some companies with Austin operations will pay for abortion-related travel