Birth Cost Recovery (BCR) is a practice allowed, but not required, under title IV-D of the federal Social Security Act that allows states to pursue the recovery of Medicaid supported birthing costs from non-custodial fathers. Most states in the nation have abandoned this practice concluding that it is not in the best interest of infants, parents and families.
Wisconsin is among a small handful of states that continues to pursue this policy, and takes the most aggressive enforcement posture in the nation, collecting over $16 million in 2016. Unlike child support, none of the recovered dollars go to support the children and families – it is all directed to reimburse the government at the federal, state and local level.
ABC for Health is concerned that the policy has long been harming efforts to reduce infant mortality, lift families out of poverty and encourage unmarried fathers to play an important, supportive role in their children’s lives. We have advocated that Wisconsin abandon the policy altogether, or at a minimum, modify it to reduce the negative, unintended consequences to our children and families.
This webpage provides a compilation of links to research materials, publications, correspondence and background materials for individuals interested in the subject of BCR.