Attention Intended Parents. Important topic ahead: insurance.
Insurance coverage is a crucial part of the surrogacy arrangement. Of course, there is maternity insurance to cover your surrogate’s doctor appointments and delivery, but there are also additional types of coverage you’ll want to make sure you have in place throughout your journey.
Let’s talk about what types of insurance you need and what each type of policy covers.
What Is surrogacy?
Gestational surrogacy is an arrangement in which a woman carries a pregnancy for someone else. The intended parents may be unable to conceive or carry a child themselves for a variety of reasons. The pregnancy is created using IVF, and in most cases, all parties involved work with an agency that specializes in third-party reproduction.
What are the different types of insurance involved in surrogacy?
There are a few different types of insurance plans to meet different needs.
Short Term Disability
Short-term disability insurance is important to have in case your surrogate is mandated bedrest by a physician. A short-term disability policy will cover the surrogate’s lost wages, the cost of childcare for her children, and housekeeping. Loss of wages can range from $10,000 to $30,000, so a short-term disability policy is a small price to pay to protect yourself from this significant financial risk.
Maternity insurance covers the cost of your surrogate’s care throughout pregnancy and childbirth. Under the Affordable Care Act, maternity coverage became one of the ten mandatory coverages that all health insurance providers must offer; however, not all policies must cover surrogate pregnancies. Some health insurance policies have a “surrogacy exclusion,” which means you may need to purchase a separate maternity insurance policy for your surrogate, even if she already has her own health insurance policy.
Major Life Insurance
Every pregnancy comes with risks, so preparing for the unimaginable is essential. A term life insurance policy should be in place to protect the surrogate’s family in the event of her passing during pregnancy or delivery.
If you reside in the United States, your child is covered for the first 30 days of life as an extension of your health insurance policy. This ends on day 31, at which point the new parents must have added their child as a member of their plan.
If you are an international intended parent, purchasing a separate newborn insurance policy is necessary. Newborn insurance covers your baby’s hospital stay, outpatient care, and any medically necessary NICU expenses that you may incur.
What does maternity insurance cover?
Maternity insurance generally covers your surrogate for outpatient services, like prenatal and postnatal doctor visits, gestational diabetes screenings, lab studies, medications, and inpatient services, such as hospitalization and physician fees.
What is an exclusion, and how does that apply to surrogacy?
While your surrogate might have her own health insurance, it may not cover her pregnancy as a surrogate. Some companies will specifically state that they will not cover a certain service – such as third-party reproduction. This is called a “surrogacy exclusion.”
It’s crucial to have your surrogate’s health insurance policy reviewed and verified by an ART insurance specialist (such as International Fertility Insurance or IFI) before going ahead with your surrogacy journey. Your surrogacy agency can help you find an appropriate maternity insurance policy that covers your surrogate’s pregnancy and delivery.
Can we purchase maternity insurance for our surrogate?
Reputable agencies will arrange for a specialist to review your surrogate’s insurance policy and determine if it excludes surrogacy. Some agencies will also be on hand to guide you through choosing the right policy and purchasing all the insurance necessary to protect your surrogate and your child.
What costs are Intended Parents responsible for?
The Intended Parents are responsible for paying all out-of-pocket payments that may occur along the way. This includes copays, deductibles, and any other uncovered or miscellaneous expenses. Copays are a fixed fee you must pay for covered care such as an office visit or prescription drugs, while a deductible is the amount you must pay out of pocket before your health insurance kicks in.
Final thoughts on surrogacy
Choosing to start or grow your family through surrogacy might seem like a lot of hard work, but it’s also one of the most exciting journeys ever! But don’t worry, reputable agencies will support you every step of the way.
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by all the paperwork and legalities ahead – especially regarding insurance – your agency should make it easier by explaining everything and helping you through all the hard stuff.