Members' out-of-state abortion travel expenses will be reimbursed by SAG-AFTRA

Members' out-of-state abortion travel expenses will be reimbursed by SAG-AFTRA ...

The trustees of the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan have unanimously approved an increase in coverage that would reimburse participants for travel and lodging expenses related to abortion treatment for those who traveled outside the country to receive healthcare.

The Health Plan is similar to the WGA and DGA unions, but comes on the heels of production firms like Netflix, Disney, and Warner Bros. Discovery refusing to disclose policies and procedures for abortion travel subsidies for employees.

The revised SAG-AFTRA program will reimburse travel expenses for participants, cover dependent spouses, and protect dependent children who are unable to receive abortion services without traveling because they reside in a state or temporarily work in covered employment in a state where abortion is illegal.

Travel expenses must be mostly necessary or necessary to acquire abortion services covered by the plan that are performed by a licensed medical provider in the scope of their license.

The following services are covered by the coverage of transportation:

-Bus, taxi, train, or plane fares (only coach/economy fare is a Covered Expense)

-Transportation costs for one caregiver or travel companion

-For individuals who drive their own automobile, mileage is reimbursable at the IRS' business mileage rate (currently $0.62 per mile). Parking fees and tolls are also covered by the Plan, 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 regulations, you will be taxed on the reimbursed difference between the two mileage rates at the time of your trip.

Reasonable rental car costs are refunded up to $65 per day for those who use a rental vehicle. Gas, parking charges, and tolls are also included in this case, although mileage is not included.

Accommodation expenses include:

-Lodging for you and your travel companion for the night prior to and the abortion night is covered, as well as a subsequent night (s) if medically necessary. The lodging expense amount must be reasonable as determined by the Plan, but in no event greater than $300 per night (in total, not per person).

If your lodging exceeds $50 per person per night, you will be liable for the excess of the IRS limit under IRS regulations.

If you return home to receive abortion services, your lodging will not be reimbursed.

SAG-AFTRA, which is a separate entity from its Health Plan, said in a statement that as both a union and an employer, we are committed to the principle that all our members, all our employees, and indeed all Americans should have equal access to critical, necessary, and sometimes life-saving reproductive health care, wherever they live or work.

Shonda Rhimes, Natasha Lyonne, and Abbi Jacobson wrote a letter to top executives atNetflix, Disney, Apple, Paramount, Lionsgate, AMC, and other production companies on behalf of requiring specific guidelines for pregnant employees throughout the United States. The list of serious concerns over the handling of employees in anti-abortion states culminated in four proposals, including the suspension of financial donations to anti-abortion politicians.

Nearly 600 men from the industry signed a letter in support of the demands, including Aaron Sorkin, Donald Glover, David E. Kelley, Ryan Murphy, J.J. Abrams, Greg Berlanti, and others.

The Walt Disney Corporation, United Talent Agency, Amazon, Paramount, Netflix, Comcast, Warner Bros. Discovery, and Sony have issued statements extending employee healthcare.