Hilary Swank is suing SAG-AFTRA after their health plan denied coverage for the removal of malignant ovarian cysts.
The “Million Dollar Baby” star, 46, filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the board of trustees of the guild’s health plan claiming that she had been denied coverage.
According to court documents obtained by Page Six, the Oscar winner alleges that the trustees stopped allowing her claims for treatment of ovarian cysts in 2015.
She was diagnosed with cysts in 2008 when her “left ovary was destroyed and removed during emergency surgery.”
SAG-AFTRA is a labor union that represents approximately 160,000 film and television actors as wells as voice actors, singers and radio personalities.
After news of the lawsuit broke, Swank posted a lengthy caption on Instagram Wednesday detailing the reasons behind her lawsuit.
“I’m truly exhausted by the way women’s ovarian and cyclical health issues continue to be treated by healthcare insurance companies,” she wrote. “I have experienced it in my own life, and I continually read about it across social media and in the press. Their policies are antiquated, barbaric and primarily view the role of women’s organs solely as a means for procreation.”
She went on to write that she hopes to help create change for women who suffer with women’s health issues.
“It’s painful enough having to deal with the nature of a female health issue, let alone having to wrestle with the stress of trying to get your insurance company to provide the coverage and care that their contract explicitly states they offer,” the caption reads. “I know that most women can’t afford the medical treatments necessary to cover simple female health issues. I can only assume they either financially deplete their resources, or they forgo the treatments, quietly suffering in pain and risking their lives. My hope is to be a voice for them.”
Swank added that SAG-AFTRA’s heath plan claims to “treat and protect all of their members equally.”
“I don’t believe this is true. If you’re a woman suffering from female health issues, I have no doubt you’ll agree with me. If you’re a man, ask your mother, your daughter, your sister, or a girl friend. I already know the answer. It’s time we are treated fairly.”
SAG-AFTRA’s health plan division sent a statement regarding the lawsuit.
“Contrary to the allegations in Ms. Swank’s complaint, the SAG-AFTRA Health Plan does not exclude treatment for endometriosis and ovarian cysts under the Plan’s infertility exclusion but rather covers diagnosis and treatment of endometriosis and ovarian cysts when medically necessary. As reflected in the complaint, the accredited Independent Review Organization (which completely separate entity from the Plan) reached the same conclusion as the Plan’s Trustees that Ms. Swank’s services were not medically necessary in this case.
“The Health Plan Trustees care deeply about our participants’ health and well-being as well as their privacy and therefore we are unable to comment beyond the statements that have been made public in Ms. Swank’s complaint.”