Unfortunately, the question of whether or not surrogacy is covered by insurance cannot be answered categorically. To a certain extent, the terms and conditions of each insurance company’s offerings will vary. That leaves your insurance provider as the final arbiter.
Fertility treatments and surrogacy can be expensive, and many insurance carriers are unwilling to cover all the costs of such medical expenses. Based on that, you can deduce that your surrogate will likely not get the coverage. If you have doubts, speak with your insurance agent. That way, you know how your medical policy works.
What Part of Surrogacy Does Health Insurance Cover?
As mentioned, not many health insurance companies cover the medical costs of surrogacy. Only a handful offer to cover the costs, from implantation and prenatal to delivery and aftercare. Most insurers only cover the maternity part of the entire surrogacy.
Others offer to bear the cost of artificial insemination or other assisted reproductive technologies. However, they may stipulate that the surrogate must use her eggs as a condition for the policy. Even at that, only a handful of such carriers offer this policy.
Since many consider surrogate pregnancy an elective procedure, they believe the intended parents should cover the cost. In other words, it is not an emergency that requires an insurance company to cough up the entire cost. The reason primarily lies in the fact that such procedures are typically expensive.
Consequently, its elective nature triggers an exclusion. An insurance company may exclude coverage for implanting donated eggs. Another company may refuse to cover the cost of moving the embryo to the surrogate, which is a primary part of the entire procedure.
Getting Adequate Surrogacy Insurance Coverage
The best type of insurance for a surrogate covers the mother and baby. Some surrogates may require additional therapy, treatment, or counseling after giving birth. Unless you are willing to pay out of pocket, it is best to check your policy and determine how much it covers.
Also, such a policy must consider the possible health needs of the baby after birth. Not every birth is smooth, and not every baby is healthy enough to take home after a day or two. It may be too expensive to cover the hospital bills from your pocket in such a case.
Another factor to consider is the possibility of getting false insurance coverage. Some insurers may claim to cover specific areas of surrogacy, but you get a massive hospital bill at the end of the day. Sometimes, the extra costs may come unexpectedly, even after leaving the hospital. You must ensure any insurance policy you get covers every aspect, even the unforeseen ones.
Is There Specific Insurance Coverage for Surrogates?
It is not all bad news for surrogacy regarding insurance coverage. You can find some insurance providers with specific policies covering surrogates, but you must still check their offer before signing the dotted lines. Some offer coverage for surrogate and intended parents, which is your best offer.
However, there may be a catch. An insurance provider may insist on taking out individual policies for every surrogate you use. So, to start a big family, you must use several surrogates. One policy does not cover all surrogates. In other words, you must take individual policies each time the surrogates get pregnant.
This method may be expensive because of the service fees accompanying each policy. Nevertheless, these policies usually have wide coverage. They can cover a little time before the surrogate gets pregnant, the entire pregnancy period, and a few months after delivery.
Also, you may find special luxury policies that cover many aspects and can run for almost your lifetime. Note that these types of policies are not the norm but are exceptions. So do not expect to find them on offer with every insurance company.
A bright side is that such policies usually cover a large part of the surrogate’s medical expenses unless excluded explicitly in that particular policy. Another bright side is that some states have laws prohibiting insurance carriers from excluding certain maternity services, such as surrogacy pregnancy coverage. It is only a matter of time before more states follow suit and these laws are fine-tuned to accommodate other aspects of surrogacy.
Insurance Coverage for Surrogates: What to Consider
If you are looking for insurance coverage for a surrogate and are unsure what to consider, there are a few things to know. They may help you cover the costs or find other means of paying the medical bills.
- Surrogate’s Insurance Policy
Your surrogate can use her health insurance policy, depending on the type and what it covers. Since it may be challenging to determine the fine details, it is best to hire an insurance expert with some experience in the fertility and healthcare industry.
They are in the best position to determine whether or not your surrogate’s policy can cover the pregnancy period: before, during, and after. Otherwise, it may be best to look for other options.
Another crucial aspect is who is covered by the insurance. Most medical surrogate policies cover only the surrogates. That means such a policy covers the baby only when it is in utero. Once the child is born, it becomes an individual apart from the surrogate and will need its insurance policy if necessary.
Before taking out a plan for a surrogate, it is crucial to know the surrogacy costs. The average cost of a surrogate medical insurance policy can be high, depending on the carrier and plan.
For example, taking out an insurance policy under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) puts the cost somewhere around $11,000. If the plan is under the Surrogate Maternity Liability Insurance, the cost is significantly higher, especially if it is the surrogate’s primary coverage.
Other Options for Financing Surrogacy
If insurance coverage for a surrogate is not feasible or is too expensive, consider other options to finance it. We have a list of financing options to reduce how much you must pay out of pocket.
- A Fertility Financing Loan
It is not strange news that fertility procedures are expensive. Many intending parents do not have the financial strength to cover such expenses, which may stall their hopes of getting a child.
Consequently, financial organizations that offer loans for fertility procedures and surrogacy plans exist. They have plans and payment options that make it easy for such parents to take loans and pay them back.
Therefore, do some research to find one or more of these organizations and see what they have to offer. This is especially helpful if you have a good and steady income source to cover the loan repayment.
Consider raising funds to cover the surrogacy period yourself instead of depending on insurance. There are several ways to do that, such as selling a valuable asset or making something unique that will sell. People are more likely to buy something they have never had before, so a handmade item may work best.
Another idea is to crowdfund or have a fundraiser online or offline. An online fundraiser may be better because you have a wider audience. The same is true for crowdfunding. Alternatively, ask people to donate to your cause, especially if the monetary donations can stand in the place of gifts during a festive period.
Some grants exist for the specific purpose of covering the cost of surrogacy or infertility treatments. They are non-repayable, so you do not have to worry about making a budget to accommodate the cost of paying it back. The organizations offering these grants have specific requirements that applicants must meet to qualify for the grants.
You must complete an application, and the organization guides you on the next steps. A common denominator among these organizations is that you must provide proof of infertility to require a surrogate.
Individual groups may also require specific requirements, such as living within chosen states or belonging to a particular religious order or affiliation. You must check for any organization with such offers and determine the eligibility requirements. Ensure you meet them before applying to stand a chance.
So does insurance cover surrogacy? There is no particular answer to this question because of the many insurance providers and varying health insurance policies. Most carriers do not offer full coverage for surrogate pregnancies. A few do not offer coverage because they consider it an elective procedure.
However, there are a few plans covering surrogates that you can take. They may be expensive, but the perks outweigh the downsides. Depending on the insurance provider, you may even find luxury options that offer full coverage many years after birth.
Another coverage option is to find the finances yourself. Consider raising funds, selling something valuable, or asking for donations from family and friends. You will also find organizations offering loans and grants for this surrogacy journey. Finally, use surrogacy agencies to find the best options for insurance coverage.