- By Andrew Komarow
- Posted July 7, 2022
Why Companies Offering Abortion Benefits Are Missing the Bigger Picture
Ever since the overturning of Roe V. Wade, companies have been stepping up and responding by providing specific benefits to their employees including neurodiverse ones. The number of companies following suit has continued to grow since then. We greatly support seeing companies support their employees, and we believe discussion about how best to do this is very valuable.
Here at Planning Across the Spectrum, we are already helping companies make their benefits inclusive for those who are neurodiverse. We aim to make our benefits as inclusive as possible, where nobody needs to disclose personal health information to their employer in order to receive any support that they need to do their job. We work with companies that want to recruit, hire, and retain talent and work with them to offer an innovative and attractive employee benefits package that is also cost-effective. A universal design approach quite simply means what is good for someone is good for everyone.
In response to this event, we have also decided to add a benefit available to our own employees. We wanted to publish our template on how we make our benefits better for everyone so that others might also benefit.
“Travel Medical Expense: Every employee, regardless of whether part-time or full-time and regardless of whether they utilize company medical benefits or not, is entitled to this benefit once per calendar year.
If an employee or a member of the employee’s immediate family needs access to a medical procedure that requires overnight travel when unable to receive care or treatment locally, $1,000 worth of reimbursement will be available for travel and one week of paid time off. There are no questions asked. Everyone is entitled to this benefit immediately upon hire.”
There are plenty of reasons that someone might need to travel overnight for surgery like to see a specialist for rare diseases or a difficult-to-perform operation. There is an unspoken rule that employers have about supporting families when specialized medical care is needed, including when a specialist is not local. Why not solidify it now and make the benefit available to all with universal design? We help our clients respect their employee's right to privacy and provide benefits in an easy-to-administer way that is better for everyone.
Imagine the very real scenario that we have seen not within our office but in another. A young family received news that their 5-year-old child had a unique form of cancer that they were being recommended to seek out a specialist. Treatment could mostly be at home, but one procedure, the surgery, needed to be done in the specialist’s hospital where there were other professionals who were able to monitor and view the results. That company dropped everything to support their employee, giving her time off to take care of her son for the surgery. We expect that many companies will do the same for their employees.
Instead of an outright benefit that supports women who need to seek out medical care for abortive procedures, as we have seen proposed elsewhere, we are codifying our travel medical benefit, with these other scenarios in mind for all of our employees to make our medical benefits offering stronger. We don’t want to get involved in understanding the private medical concerns of our employees and coworkers, especially when those details can be embarrassing and none of our business. We want our neurodiverse team to seek out help when they need it from the qualified professionals they need.
Planning Across the Spectrum works with 401(k) providers, health insurance, employee wellness, business, and workers' compensation insurance to put together a package that is truly inclusive. There are many ways that we see examples of employee benefits share aspects of a universal design approach. If you are looking for more ideas on ways to make your benefits truly inclusive, contact us and check out our resources.
Contact Planning Across The Spectrum for neurodiverse employer benefits consulting services.