Hilary Swank Files Lawsuit: 'My Hope Is to Create Change'

The Oscar-winning actor sues SAG-AFTRA's health plan over 'antiquated' policies
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2020 11:30 AM CDT
Hilary Swank Sues Over 'Barbaric' Health Plan
Hilary Swank poses for a portrait to promote the film "I Am Mother" at the Salesforce Music Lodge during the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019, in Park City, Utah.   (Photo by Taylor Jewell/Invision/AP)

Hilary Swank is suing her union's "barbaric" health plan for refusing to cover her treatment of malignant ovarian cysts, People reports. The 46-year-old actor says SAG-AFTRA denied her coverage because the board of trustees considered it an infertility treatment, which the union plan doesn't cover. "Their policies are antiquated, barbaric and primarily view the role of women's organs solely as a means for procreation," says Swank. "My hope is to create change for all [women] suffering from women's health issues that have to battle with insurance companies who diminish the significance of their problems." Deadline reports that the plan's precursor did cover her treatment, but in 2015 the trustees "reversed course and stopped allowing Swank's claims."

"It also just so happened that around the same time ... Swank was undergoing procedures to preserve her ability to conceive in the future Seizing upon Swank's choice to keep her options open, the Trustees pointed to an exclusion in the Plan for 'infertility treatment,' relying on the notion that the only purpose of preserving the health of an ovary is to procreate," her suit says. SAG-AFTRA's health plan disagreed in a statement to USA Today, saying it "does cover diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis and ovarian cysts when medically necessary," but "services were not medically necessary in this case." Swank, meanwhile, says she "exhausted" the appeals process: "I already know the answer," she says. "It's time we are treated fairly." (More women's health stories.)

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