Two of Canada’s largest insurers have joined the growing number of employers in the United States that are extending health benefits for their employees after a ruling by the US Supreme Court that will soon make abortion illegal in some states.
Both Sun Life Financial Inc. SLF-T and Manulife Financial Corp. MFC-T, which have large operations in the United States, are joining a wave of US companies – including entertainment giant Condé Nast, JP Morgan Chase JPM-N, Citigroup Inc. CN, The Walt Disney Co. DIS-N and Goldman Sachs GS-N – announcing they will add new travel benefits to their employee group health plans to cover the cost of out-of-state travel for legal abortions.
Sun Life Financial has about 6,000 US employees. The company will now offer all employees – and their dependants – who are enrolled in its group health plan a “medical travel and lodging reimbursement benefit” for any covered medical treatment or procedure that is not available within 100 miles of their home, the company said on Friday.
“We believe strongly that everyone should have equal access to health care, and we support the right of every employee to receive medical treatment regardless of where they live,” Sun Life spokesperson Rajani Kamath, said in an e-mail to The Globe and Mail .
Manulife said on Friday it will cover travel, lodging and other costs for any employee, spouse, or dependant to travel outside of their state, together with a companion, “to secure access to reproductive health care” if the services are not provided in their home state.
“We also understand that access