Board of Trustees Acts to Expand Coverage of Abortion Services to Dependent Children and Abortion-Related Travel Costs Beginning July 18, 2022, and Reconfirms the Health Plan’s Existing Coverage of Both Elective and Medically Necessary Abortions, Including Abortion-Related Prescription Drugs

In response to the recent ruling by the United States Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Directors Guild of America–Producer Health Plan reaffirms its existing coverage of all medically necessary and elective abortion services, including broad access to abortion-related prescription drugs, for covered Health Plan participants and dependent spouses. Additionally, the Board of Trustees has expanded coverage to include such services for dependent children, regardless of whether there are complications from pregnancy, and related travel and lodging costs for participants and beneficiaries who live or work in covered employment in states where abortion services are not permitted.

As it always has, the Health Plan will continue to cover abortion services without regard to the reason. Coverage will continue to include medical treatments and access to abortion-related prescription drugs (e.g., the “Plan B” or “Morning After” pill) per Health Plan rules.

No preauthorization is required for the travel and lodging benefits at this time, but you may be required to attest to the Health Plan in the future that the specified services were not legally available in the current jurisdiction for you, your spouse or dependent child.

Travel Benefits

Effective July 18, 2022, the Health Plan will reimburse travel for you, your dependent spouse or your dependent child, and one medically appropriate support companion, when travel is necessary because termination of a pregnancy is not legally available in your state of residence or state where you are currently employed or engaged in covered employment.

The Health Plan will only reimburse necessary travel expenses to your state of residence or the nearest state where abortion services are legally available.

Benefits include:

  • Reimbursement for 100% of the actual cost for round trip “coach” airfare;
  • Reimbursement for 100% of the actual cost for travel via trains, subways, buses, taxis, ride shares, or other public transportation; and
  • Mileage reimbursement for use of a personal vehicle at the applicable rate set forth by the Internal Revenue Service and updated from time to time (e.g., 62.5 cents/mile in 2022).

Lodging Benefits

Effective July 18, 2022, the Health Plan will reimburse reasonable lodging expenses for you, your dependent spouse or your dependent child and one support companion when travel is necessary to receive the specified services.  Lodging must be for, and in connection with, receiving abortion services and not for personal pleasure, recreation or vacation.

Lodging expenses are not available if you, your spouse or your dependent child travel to your state of residence in order to receive the specified services.

Benefits include:

  • Coverage for the night prior to and during the course of receiving the specified services; and
  • Reimbursement based on reasonable rates for the city in which treatment is provided, not to exceed $300 per night.

For example, if you travel to receive an abortion procedure on August 1, 2022, the Health Plan will cover lodging costs for the night before the procedure (July 31st) and the night of the procedure (August 1st).

Lodging reimbursements that exceed the maximum rate set forth by the Internal Revenue Service and updated from time to time will be reported as income to you, your spouse or your dependent child, as applicable. You will receive a Form 1099 for any excess amount.

All expenses, including itemized receipts, must be submitted in accordance with Plan rules for reimbursement.

Meals, car rentals, international travel, personal care items and car maintenance are examples of items that are not reimbursable by the Health Plan.  Additional terms may apply, and there may be additional expenses not covered by the Health Plan.  For full details about the Health Plan’s coverage of abortion services, refer to the 2020 Health Plan Summary Plan Description and its updates.