A person walks into a Target store in Washington, DC on May 18, 2022.
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Target will cover employee travel if they live in a state where abortion is banned, according to a company memo obtained by CNBC.
The new policy will go into effect in July, according to the email sent to employees Monday by Target human resources director Melissa Kremer.
“For years, our health care benefits have included financial assistance for travel, when team members needed certain health care procedures that weren’t available where they live,” said Kremer in the memo. “A few months ago, we began to re-evaluate our benefits with the goal of understanding what it would look like if we expanded travel reimbursement to include all care that is necessary and covered – but not available in the member’s community. This effort became even more relevant when we learned of the Supreme Court’s decision on abortion, as it would impact health care access in some states.
With the annulment of Roe v. Wade, the country has been divided into states where abortion is legal and states where it is prohibited. The court decision led to a flurry of business announcements who have committed to providing travel coverage to employees as part of their health insurance plan. This list covers all sectors and includes JPMorgan Chase, Dick Sporting Goods and Rivian.
Some companies, like Amazon, has already announced travel coverage for employees who must seek reproductive health care in other states ahead of the Supreme Court’s ruling. The tech giant said it would pay up to $4,000 in travel expenses a year for abortion and other non-life-threatening medical treatments.
Target did not immediately respond to a request whether the travel policy will come with a dollar limit. It did not specify how it plans to protect the privacy of employees seeking travel reimbursement.
In the memo, the retailer said its health care travel reimbursement policy will include travel for mental health, cardiac care and other services not available near employees’ homes. , in addition to reproductive care.
Kremer said Target updated its policy to “ensure our team has equal access to high-quality, low-cost care through our health benefits.”
In the memo, Target did not take a position on the Supreme Court’s decision. Kremer praised Target employees for how they “recognize and respect a wide range of beliefs and opinions that other team members and guests hold dear – even if those beliefs differ from their own.”
Other companies remained silent following the Supreme Court ruling. 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. Its headquarters are in Arkansas, a state who already has a law on the books to trigger a ban.
Walmart, however, covers travel costs for certain medical care — including some heart surgeries, cancer treatments and organ transplants — that employees receive at hospitals in other states or cities far from home.
The decision of the high court provoked the indignation of some employees who pushed their companies to go further. Hundreds of Amazon employees have signed an internal petition, calling on the company to condemn the Supreme Court ruling, cease operations in states that ban abortion, and allow workers to move to others States if they live in a place where the procedure is restricted, according to Business Insider.
CNBC’s John Rosevear contributed to this article.
This story is developing. Please check for updates.