Walmart healthcare plans to cover abortion costs for employees
In a memo sent to employees last week, Walmart said its health-care plans will now cover abortion for employees “when there is a health risk to the mother, rape or incest, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage or lack of fetal viability.”
In the past, the company's health insurance covered abortion only “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,” according to a copy of their policy.
According to Donna Morris, the chief people officer, the new policy will now offer “travel support” for employees seeking abortions covered under its health care plans — as well as their dependents —to access services that are not available within 100 miles of their locations.
The company also said it plans to launch a center that provides fertility services to employees such as in vitro fertilization, according to the memo sent Friday. It also promised to add surrogacy support and offer more support for surrogacy, increase its financial aid for adoptions from $5,000 to $20,000 and expand its financial aid for adoptions from $5000 to $20,000.
Earlier this year, Walmart said it would expand its coverage to doulas in an effort to address racial disparities in maternal care.
“It’s much trickier than a lot of people initially think it is,” said Vanessa Burbano, a professor at Colombia University's business school. “It’s not like all of their stakeholders are of the same opinion on any of these issues, which is what makes it so challenging. They’re trying to figure out how to thread that needle.”