Employers and other group health plan sponsors are left with much to consider following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overruled the Supreme Court’s prior landmark decisions in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Those cases solidified a federal constitutional right to obtain an abortion and prohibited state regulation placing an “undue burden” on that right.

Without Roe and Casey, approximately half of all U.S. states now (or likely will soon) ban or significantly limit reproductive health services, including abortion, and some state laws threaten to impose liability on those who assist an individual in obtaining an abortion. As a result, employers and other benefit plan sponsors are left wondering about the future of health plan coverage for reproductive healthcare, the permissibility of travel reimbursements to assist employees in traveling to jurisdictions where abortion remains legal, and other related issues.

In this complex legal environment, different questions arise depending on whether a group health plan is insured or self-insured, the jurisdictions in which the plan operates, and a variety of other factors.