Surrogacy health insurance is one of the most important parts of a surrogacy arrangement as it ensures the surrogate and the pregnancy are protected in case any complications should arise. While important, it is also a very complicated process. This is largely because there are no set rules when it comes to surrogacy insurance, if an insurance company has to cover a surrogate pregnancy, or how the policies are worded for gay couples.
Medical insurance policies vary from employer to employer and individual plans also vary, and it’s crucial that both parties (intended parents and the prospective surrogate) have a clear understanding of what expenses are covered before moving forward. The insurance policy should be reviewed by an insurance expert, especially one that has knowledge and competence regarding surrogacy. Generally, for parents-to-be, gay or straight- medical insurance policies that do not have exclusions regarding surrogate pregnancies, will usually pay for all expenses related to the process throughout the duration of the treatment process and pregnancy. The cost of which varies and insurance in any state doesn’t cover those aspects.
The insurance phase of the process is typically discussed when the contract is being drawn. Both party’s insurance policies are closely reviewed to determine what costs will be covered, whether or not supplemental insurance policies could help, and how much the intended parents will have to pay out of pocket for medical costs. It is a good idea to discuss surrogacy insurance with your attorney, an HR representative, and an insurance representative to understand the specifics of your plan. Generally, there are two factors in the surrogacy process that are in question of being covered by insurance – infertility treatments and the surrogate pregnancy. Please note: that under the current laws, the state of New York prohibits surrogacy contracts and are unenforceable. Also, if you are international intended parents, you must research and obtain insurance for your newborn baby. There are some global insurance plans available and other options through Lloyd’s of London.
Infertility Treatments: Insurance policies vary from employer to employer and state to state, especially when infertility coverage is in question. In fact, 15 states have enacted laws requiring insurance coverage for infertility treatments – Connecticut being one of them. However, even if infertility coverage is mandated in your state, insurance policies will still vary based on your employer plan, the size of the company, where your employer’s policy was written, etc. *Click here for more information on the specific details of Connecticut’s infertility coverage.
Surrogate Pregnancy: Unfortunately, insurance companies have become very aware of the increase in surrogacies and have started writing policies that only cover a pregnancy within the family and not a surrogate pregnancy. Again, this is where it is helpful to enlist the help of a surrogacy financial professional to interpret the policy. If the surrogate pregnancy is not covered, intended parents can consider supplemental coverage or will have to pay for the pregnancy out of pocket. *Supplemental insurance premiums can run around $10,000 with deductibles starting at $15,000 for a single-child pregnancy.
If surrogacy is not covered under the surrogate’s current insurance, another option is to purchase an individual health insurance plan that may cover the surrogate’s maternity care. Sometimes, these plans do not have a deductible and are mandated to cover preventive health screenings. Keep in mind these plans are not written specifically for surrogate pregnancies, so again, it is critical to have a surrogacy professional and an attorney review the policy to make sure surrogacy is not excluded.
While the process may be daunting, with extensive research and preparation, intended parents may be able to find surrogacy coverage or other financial options that can help offset expenses associated with a surrogacy pregnancy. At CT Fertility, we are sensitive to the complex nature of surrogacy (especially for gay couples) and offer a wide range of services to help walk you through the process. For more information or to schedule an appointment at one of our fertility centers in Trumbull, CT and New York City, please call 203-373-1200.