Surrogacy can be an expensive process with all of its necessary medical and legal costs. However, know that you will never be expected to pay for your surrogacy if you decide to carry a baby for intended parents; they will cover all of your surrogacy- and pregnancy-related costs.
Part of these expenses will be covered by surrogacy insurance — either through your personal insurance or a plan that the intended parents will purchase for your surrogacy journey. How your insurance for surrogacy will work will vary based on your individual plan and circumstances, and all of the details will be discussed before you and the intended parents sign your surrogacy legal contract. Your surrogacy professional will likely guide you through this complicated step to make sure that you receive the medical coverage you need as a prospective surrogate.
Don’t worry — you will never be financially obligated when you choose to become a surrogate for intended parents. While the surrogacy insurance aspect may be a bit complicated, know that your surrogacy professional will work closely with you so you have the financial protection you need. In the meantime, here are some of the basics you should know about surrogacy insurance.
What a Surrogacy Insurance Plan May Cover
Intended parents may not always have to purchase a separate surrogacy insurance coverage plan to financially protect themselves and their surrogate. Depending on the policies of their current plan, they may be able to apply their own insurance to certain aspects of the surrogacy medical process. Likewise, if you have a personal health insurance plan, your provider may cover certain costs of your pregnancy, even though it is a surrogate pregnancy.
Whether your coverage is provided by a typical health insurance plan or a surrogacy insurance plan purchased specifically for this process, there are usually two aspects of the medical process that can be covered: infertility treatments and your surrogate pregnancy.
Many intended parents will have undergone infertility treatments before deciding to pursue surrogacy. Therefore, they are likely familiar with what kind of personal insurance coverage they have for the in vitro fertilization process. While 15 states have laws that require insurance coverage for infertility treatment, the scope of this coverage varies from plan to plan. Most insurance providers will cover infertility testing but may or may not cover the expensive process of IVF.
Each gestational surrogacy will require an IVF process, so whether intended parents’ surrogacy insurance covers this process will need to be discussed during the drafting of the legal contract. The intended parents may be able to purchase an additional infertility insurance plan if their standard health plan doesn’t offer the coverage they desire.
Your Surrogate Pregnancy
When it comes to surrogacy insurance coverage for your pregnancy expenses, your surrogacy professional will work with your personal insurance provider to determine whether they have exceptions for surrogate pregnancies. If there are no exceptions, your medical expenses will likely be covered by your personal insurance (with the intended parents paying for any necessary deductibles and co-pays).
If your insurance provider does make the distinction between surrogate pregnancies and traditional pregnancies, they may not provide the medical coverage that you and your intended parents will need. In these cases, your surrogacy professional will work with your intended parents to locate insurance for surrogacy- and pregnancy-related expenses before you all move forward. While these plans can be costly for intended parents, they are important to protect all involved. You should never feel obligated to accept a plan that covers less just to save the intended parents’ money.
The Process of Ensuring Surrogacy Insurance Coverage
As mentioned, a good surrogacy professional will walk you and your intended parents through every step of securing the necessary surrogacy insurance coverage for your personal journey. It will usually be a lengthy discussion between you all and each of your health insurance providers to determine what options are available for this process.
As mentioned, many health providers today specifically state a difference between traditional pregnancies and surrogate pregnancies in their coverage plan — and often don’t cover the medical costs of a surrogate pregnancy. That’s why surrogacy professionals today conduct insurance reviews as part of the screening process for both intended parents and surrogates to determine what is needed before the two parties are matched.
Intended parents will often take more responsibility with this step, speaking with their insurance broker and a financial advisor to figure out which steps to take for full surrogacy insurance coverage. However, you may need to speak with your own insurance broker and your HR representative to find out similar information, although your surrogacy professional will take the lead on this.
As a surrogate, the question of surrogacy insurance should not be one that unduly concerns you. Remember, your legal contract will specify that the intended parents will always be responsible for your surrogacy- and pregnancy-related expenses, and you need not worry about the surrogacy process being a financial burden for you and your family. Your costs will always be covered and you will always receive any surrogate compensation agreed upon in your legal contract.
To learn more about surrogacy insurance and your responsibilities as a prospective surrogate, please contact a surrogacy professional today.