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Assisted Reproduction

Wisconsin Supreme Court Ruling Prevents Insurers From Denying Benefits To Surrogates

The Wisconsin Supreme Court just handed down what might turn out to be a landmark ruling:

Insurance companies may not deny coverage to surrogate mothers, the Wisconsin Supreme Court unanimously ruled Friday.

The decision overturns a lower court’s ruling that said Mercycare Insurance Co. and MercyCare HMO of Janesville did not have to provide benefits to two surrogate mothers who were denied coverage during their pregnancies. The companies had a policy of covering pregnant women, excluding surrogates acting as “gestational carriers” for other people’s babies.

But the Supreme Court said insurance companies may not make routine maternity services unavailable to surrogate mothers based solely on their reasons or methods of becoming pregnant. The ruling affirms an opinion by the Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner that the HMO could not legally withhold coverage under its 2002 policy.

The two surrogate mothers involved in the legal battle are not identified by name in court records. Combined, they incurred more than $35,000 in medical bills during their pregnancies in 2003 and 2004, according to the court opinion.

Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Sean Dilweg said the ruling supports his department’s view that insurance companies can’t discriminate against women based on the reasons they got pregnant.

Similar challenges in other States have been unsuccessful. Hopefully this Wisconsin decision is a harbinger of things to come rather than an outlier.


2 comments for “Wisconsin Supreme Court Ruling Prevents Insurers From Denying Benefits To Surrogates”

  • Good for them, I’m glad they won their claim. While for a second you might think the insurance company has a leg to stand on here, the reality is, it would be just another precedence set in favor of the insurance companies. And, what happens if the surrogate decides to keep the kid, would she get reimbursed? I don’t think so. In any case we all pay enough in insurance premiums nowadays that, really, there shouldn’t be as many restrictions as there are already. I’d like to see something happen for more preventative procedures being approved by insurance companies.

  • Who in there right mind would want to do that. Im telling you these people are crazy

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