Israeli gay couple says healthcare provider forestalling surrogacy funding

Despite July's Supreme Court decision which prohibits discrimination against same sex parents in surrogacy arrangements, many couples are still being turned down for funds at the stage in which the embryo is implanted into the surrogate mother's womb

Adir Yanko|
A gay Israeli couple has claimed their health care provider is delaying issuing of forms ensuring coverage of medical services for gay couples who have begun surrogacy processes in Israel.
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  • Despite the Supreme Court decision of last July, which prohibited discrimination against same sex couples in surrogacy arrangements, dozens of couples have applied to begin the process in the last few months.
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    פונדקאות הומואים
    פונדקאות הומואים
    Surrogate babies
    (Photo: shutterstock)
    Many of the couples have been approved, but have yet to receive the so-called Form 17, hence have no official documentation that their healthcare provider guarantees to cover the costs. Consequently, some couples have been turned down at the stage in which the embryo is implanted into the surrogate mother's womb, and without the funding they will be forced to pay 8,000 NIS out of pocket for this medical procedure.
    "We implanted the embryos and this is a process that calls for the issuing of Form 17 from the healthcare provider, in order to fund the procedure," shared a customer of Clalit HMO, whose request recently got rejected. "When we turned to Clalit about a month ago to receive the form, they dragged us on and in the end turned us down. Their claim was that surrogacy for LGBTQ people is not in the healthcare package and therefore they refuse to cover the procedure. When we asked them in the beginning, there was an impression that they intend to approve it and then in the last minute they withdrew.
    "I felt that this was a continuation of discrimination by other means," he continued. "The Supreme Court of Israel ruled an unequivocal verdict that discrimination against LGBTQ people should be stopped and now the provider is finding its way to continue the discrimination."
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    מצעד הגאווה במצפה רמון
    מצעד הגאווה במצפה רמון
    Israeli, LGBTQ flags at rally in southern Israel
    (Photo: Roee Idan)
    On the other hand, customers of Clalit's competitor healthcare provider - Maccabi - have expressed much more satisfaction with the process of getting approved.
    "We received the form from Maccabi within a few days and without any problem," said Avichai Yaacovian. "It's very weird to me that the verdict was passed and now Clalit is going backwards."
    Chairman of the LGBT Association MK Yurai Lahav Herzno commented on this issue: "There is no room for discrimination against LGBT parents. The state and its institutions must promise equality in medical treatment provided in surrogacy. I am in touch with the LGBT families, with the healthcare providers, and wit the Health Ministry in order to ensure this."
    Clalist is expected to hold a meeting on the matter on Sunday, and has yet to release a statement.
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