BSCA offers small-group travel reimbursement

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade in June 2022. Many employers pledged to help employees safely travel to seek abortion services to an abortion safe state. This may be easy for large corporations to offer their employees. However, small businesses may struggle to offer the same perks. In this article we will discuss Blue Shield of California’s (BSCA) Travel Reimbursement Program that is included in some small group medical plans.

First insurance company to offer the new benefit

Blue Shield of California announced their Abortion Travel Reimbursement Program (PDF). BSCA will offer members who reside in a state with abortion restrictions reimbursement to travel to an abortion safe state. Blue Shield is the first health insurance company within the small group market in California to create a program like this for employees. There are some groups excluded from this program such as religious exempt groups and groups that opt-out of the program.

FAQs

Below are answers to some Frequently Asked Questions. For a full list, please visit Blue Shield’s Program Details (PDF). If you are interested in offering your employees a Blue Shield of California medical plan, feel free to reach out to us at 800-746-0045.

How do I know if my plan offers this benefit?

You should reach out to your plan administrator or insurance broker to check if this is an included benefit. If you are need a health insurance broker for your small group plan, you can call Benefits Café at 800-746-0045.

Will Blue Shield’s Travel Reimbursement Program impact my premium?

No, the travel reimbursement is not included in the medical plan’s design. It is simply an additional perk subject to change at any time.

What expenses will Blue Shield reimburse me for?

Some restrictions apply, but Blue Shield may reimburse you for transportation, hotel, meals, and companion expenses.

Will I have a copay associated with the travel reimbursement benefit?

According to Blue Shield: “there are no member cost shares associated with this program” However, if you are enrolled in a Health Savings Account (HSA) plan, you may be required to meet your deductible before being eligible to receive reimbursement. In addition, there is a limit to the amount Blue Shield will pay.

What is the maximum amount Blue Shield will Reimburse me for?

$2,000 per pregnancy termination.