Surrogacy Insurance Options: Surrogates need both life and medical insurance
Surrogacy can be an expensive and complicated process. An important aspect of controlling costs and providing the best protections for both the Intended Parents and the surrogate is to have adequate insurance coverage in order to mitigate costs and potential risks. Your surrogate will need broad medical coverage during her pregnancy, as well as a life insurance policy designed to protect her family in the event of fatal pregnancy complications.
As an Intended Parent, you have several surrogacy insurance options for medical and life, including the option to hire companies that specifically vet insurance coverage for surrogacy.
Health Insurance for Surrogacy:
Your own health insurance and its maternity coverage cannot be transferred to another individual carrying a pregnancy on your behalf. This means your surrogate will need her own health insurance. Self-paying medical bills related to a surrogacy pregnancy is not recommended as unexpected complications and lengthy hospital stays can run well north of $100,000. In some cases, medical bills can come close to or exceed $1,000,000. The only way to protect yourself from unexpected costly medical bills is to have proper insurance coverage in place.
If a surrogate has a current health plan through an employer or a spouse, you should have the maternity coverage professionally vetted for surrogacy exclusion clauses, even if the policy has covered surrogacy in the past. Companies like ART Risk Solutions can evaluate your surrogate’s insurance policy to determine whether a surrogacy pregnancy will be covered.
If a surrogate does not have health insurance that covers surrogacy, you will need to buy a policy for her either as primary coverage, secondary insurance, or a bridge plan to cover the gap until Open Enrollment. Open Enrollment is a set period of time each year when individuals or families can purchase medical insurance without a qualifying event.
Supplemental insurance for surrogacy can be extremely expensive with premiums as high as $10,000 for the full term of pregnancy. Deductibles can also run in the $15,000 range. Some surrogates understand the demand for surrogacy-friendly insurance and will promote having surrogacy-friendly insurance while matching with potential Intended Parents. If you’re an Intended Parent looking for a surrogate with surrogacy-friendly insurance, make sure you have those conversations while matching, though always verify the insurance before assuming full or partial coverage.
If you need a plan, your best bet is to use a broker that specializes in available policies that cover surrogacy: ART Risk Solutions, New Life Agency, and International Fertility Insurance (IFI) can all help in their role as insurance brokers that specifically deal with surrogacy insurance options and assisted reproduction.
By law, when it comes to surrogacy in Nevada, most health insurance companies must provide coverage for surrogacy. This is an outlier across the United States, however, where it remains legal for insurance companies to deny coverage for a surrogacy pregnancy.
Intended Parents will need to purchase a life insurance policy for their surrogate. The surrogate should decide on the policy that best suits her needs and protects her family. In most cases, the policy should have coverage of at least $250,000 with the exact benefit and length of coverage varying widely depending on individual need. The surrogate along with her attorney should be vocal about their life insurance requirements during contract negotiations. Once surrogacy contracts are finalized, a life insurance policy should be purchased to take effect no later than 6-weeks gestation. Some states set specific insurance requirements, e.g. New York State requires a minimum of $750,000 with the policy taking effect prior to the medical phase of surrogacy and lasting a full year postpartum.
Disability Insurance for Surrogacy:
In addition to full life insurance coverage in the unlikely event of death, some surrogacy agreements require that Intended Parents purchase disability insurance to protect the surrogate against loss of wages due to pregnancy complications. Companies like International Fertility Insurance (IFI) provide disability insurance options.
If a working surrogate needs to be put on bedrest because of pregnancy or childbirth complications, she may be eligible to receive short-term disability benefits. Short-term disability benefits will cover only a portion of her lost wages, however. Given that, Intended Parents are responsible for paying the difference between short-term disability benefits and a surrogate’s full lost wages. Surrogates with high-paying jobs incur higher reimbursement fees when missing work due to medical-related travel (e.g. to/from doctor’s appointments), child birth and recovery, and pregnancy complications.
Loss of Organ Insurance for Surrogacy:
While insurance protecting against the loss of reproductive or other bodily organs can be purchased using a broker such as International Fertility Insurance (IFI), fees can alternatively be agreed upon via a surrogacy contract. While rare, surrogates can lose reproductive organs such as their uterus when severe pregnancy complications arise. The loss to the surrogate is either covered through insurance or paid out directly by the Intended Parents.
Health Insurance for Your Newborn Child:
Intended Parents must assume immediate financial responsibility for their newborn child(ren), including providing health insurance for their infant(s). US residents with existing health insurance plans will generally encounter a relatively straight forward process for adding their new child(ren) to their existing plans at birth. International Intended Parents, however, will usually need to buy an American medical policy. Companies like ART Risk Solutions can help International Intended Parents obtain a newborn insurance policy that covers their child(ren) until they are able to be brought back to their home country.
Egg Donor Insurance:
Intended Parents that need an egg donor will need to get an Egg Donor and Recipient policy to cover any potential complications during the egg retrieval medical process. Egg Donor and Recipient insurance is affordable and costs a few hundred dollars while covering a wide variety of complications that can occur during the egg creation and retrieval process.