Dobbs Decision Overturning Roe v. Wade
Frequently Asked Questions on Impact to Group Health Plans
On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey in the opinion Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Dobbs eliminates a woman’s federal constitutional right to abortion and therefore returns the abortion issue back to the states to regulate. Below are frequently asked questions (FAQs) addressing employer options and the impact on group health plans because of the Dobbs opinion—including whether an employer can cover abortion through a health benefit plan or reimburse costs incurred when traveling outside of a state to access abortion services.
This information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered, legal advice.
Last Updated July 18, 2022
There will be more questions that arise for group health plans, and we will be operating with lots of uncertainty for the foreseeable future. Litigation and future guidance will flesh out the bounds of this post-Roe era. For now, employers should become educated as much as possible on these complicated issues, have discussions with their benefits consultants and their legal counsel, consider their own risk tolerance, and check with their service providers to see if they can accommodate the employer’s desired plan. Finally, as with any benefit change, employee communications will need to explain what is changing and any new (or reduced) benefit provided.