SAG-AFTRA Health Plan To Reimburse Travel & Lodging Costs For Participants Who Must Leave Their States To Get Abortions

trustees of SAG-AFTRA The health plan has unanimously approved reimbursement benefits to cover travel and accommodation expenses related to abortion Caring for participants who live or work in states that prohibit abortion. “In this decisive action,” the trustees said in a press release Friday, “SAG-AFTRA and the Management Plan Trustees are seeking to ensure that participants continue to have access to safe abortion services, regardless of where they live or work.”

The new benefit, which comes in the wake of the overturning of the Supreme Court’s decision to Roe v. Wade, is similar to what is being provided WGA And DGA health plans. It will reimburse reasonable travel expenses for participants, covered dependent spouses, and covered dependent children who are unable to receive abortion services without traveling because they reside in or temporarily reside in such state. Work in covered employment where abortion is illegal.

Travel expenses must be primarily necessary and necessary to obtain abortion services covered by the plan by a licensed medical provider operating within the scope of their license.

Covered transportation includes:

  • Bus, taxi, train or plane fare (only coach/economy fare is a covered expense)
  • Transportation expenses for a caregiver or traveling companion
  • For those who travel in their own cars, mileage is reimbursed at the business mileage rate set by the IRS (currently $0.62 per mile). Parking fees and tolls are also covered expenses, but gas is not. Mileage rates for medical travel are currently lower than the business mileage rate that the plan will use to reimburse travel expenses. As a result of these IRS rules, you will be taxed on the reimbursement difference between the two mileage rates in effect at the time of your trip.
  • For those who use a rental car, reasonable rental car expenses are reimbursable up to $65 per day. In this case, gas, parking charges and tolls are also covered expenses, but mileage is not.

Covered housing expenses include:

  • Accommodation for you and your travel companion for the night before and after the abortion, as well as the subsequent night(s) are also covered if medically necessary. The amount of the housing expense must be reasonable as determined by the plan, but in no case exceed $300 per night (in total, not per person).
  • Under IRS rules, if your accommodation exceeds $50 per person per night, you will be taxed on the amount in excess of the IRS limit.
  • Accommodation will not be reimbursed if you travel home to receive abortion services.

SAG-AFTRA, a separate entity from its health plan, said in a statement that “both a union and an employer are committed to the principle that all of our members, all of our employees, and indeed all Americans, should have equal access.” vital, necessary and often life-saving reproductive health care, regardless of where they live or work.”