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Intended parent's guide to surrogacy insurance

January 11, 2021

Building a family with surrogacy-led IVF, although very exciting, can cause stress around balancing finances. On top of the emotional and financial stressors on intended parents, navigating surrogacy insurance can be nerve-wracking because it so heavily involves your surrogate’s health and wellbeing. 

However, educating yourself is key to successfully navigating surrogacy costs, insurance, and all financing required to grow your family. Once you have a clear understanding of your insurance costs, coverage and benefits surrounding surrogacy, you’ll be on your way to confidently planning this journey while minimizing surprises or hidden costs left to overwhelm you.

To get you up-to-date on potential financial planning you may need for surrogacy, let’s explore the processes of: 

  • Reviewing your surrogate’s insurance provider. 
  • Navigating out-of-pocket costs. 
  • Planning your newborn’s coverage.
  • And buying additional or alternative insurance (if necessary).

Once you know all your financial options, you can refocus all your attention on what matters most: welcoming your new family member and making your dreams a reality.

does insurance cover surrogate pregnancy

Will my insurance cover the cost of surrogacy?

When women are carrying their own pregnancy, they’re able to use their own insurance. However, using a surrogate can make this process a bit trickier, as policies and coverage vary across insurance providers. 

In achieving successful surrogacy coverage, you need to check that your surrogate’s health insurance provider doesn’t exclude surrogate pregnancies from their coverage plans. Certain clauses would mean it’s possible that your surrogate’s insurance provider won’t cover costs associated with surrogacy.

So what should your first step be in determining your  surrogate’s coverage? Reach out to one of the insurance specialists referred by your surrogacy agency. Together, you can assess how much coverage you or your surrogate will receive based on your unique case. You can also determine if you need to pursue additional coverage and how to manage out-of-pocket payments. Let’s review how these considerations will factor into your total insurance and financial plan. 

Consideration 1: Your surrogate’s insurance provider

Your surrogate may have her own medical coverage to cover part of the service if her policy  doesn’t have a clear exclusion for surrogate pregnancies. If her insurance is subject to exclusions, you may need to purchase a back up plan or a new plan for the surrogacy.

Some insurance plans may have a lien for surrogacy wherein they allow surrogate maternity coverage but recoup back a portion of what they have paid out because the surrogacy is compensated and they feel the parents are financially responsible. 

Of course, top-rated surrogacy agencies always refer intended parents to an insurance expert to check a surrogate candidate’s insurance plan during the screening process, so you can select your surrogate with this information in mind. 

Consideration 2: Out-of-pocket expenses

As standard in all surrogacy agreements, out-of-pocket costs, such as co-payments required for doctor’s appointments or costs not covered by your surrogate’s insurance,  fall on the intended parents.

There are also typically deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums that are the responsibility of the intended parents. The responsibilities of the parents to cover these expenses should be included within contracts created by your attorneys prior to the surrogacy to give you insight into potential costs and provide you  with a comprehensive picture of your financial responsibilities.

Getting newborn insurance coverage 

Preparing for your newborn’s welcome will be one of the most exciting experiences for your family, and this time will be a catalyst for a wonderful new phase in your life: parenthood. It's important to set your little one up for success.

Ensuring your newborn has insurance immediately upon birth is crucial, as they won’t be placed on your surrogate’s insurance policy. Failing to complete this could result in receiving large medical costs not covered by any insurance. And as you likely already know, your surrogate is not liable to cover any charges related to your baby once the child is born. 

Luckily, getting your baby on your or your spouse’s insurance plan is a standard process. To seamlessly get your newborn on your insurance policy within the U.S., you can take the following simple steps. 

These steps include:

  1. Plan newborn insurance coverage early. For international intended some of the most cost effective insurance options must be purchased as soon as 2 months prior to an embryo transfer. Others are applied for just before the transfer and activated at confirmation of pregnancy. While others  are applied for during the second trimester. The timing will depend on the plan you select so consulting with an insurance specialist early in the process is crucial to ensure you have access to all options. 
    Note: Keep in mind- most international newborn insurance plans cover complications only and international parents often must cash pash for routine newborn care in the US.
  2. Directly consult your insurance provider or company's HR representative to determine your plan’s exact coverage if you have a U.S. insurance plan.
  3. Consult your surrogacy insurance specialist about adding your baby to your policy and insurance plan.
  4. Consult your attorney while drafting your pre-birth and post-birth contracts to determine the best possible date to add your newborn to your plan in ensuring they are covered for the delivery if your plan does allow coverage in the U.S..

Newborn insurance for international intended parents

Many intended parents come from around the world to pursue surrogacy in the US because of the surrogate-friendly laws. Luckily, even for international intended parents, gaining newborn insurance coverage is achievable through multiple methods. Let’s walk through these many accessible forms of insurance! 

Private Insurance

If you work for a company that offers travel to the U.S. for work and have a U.S. residence, your newborn may also be eligible to gain coverage through this plan. Even if you are not traveling to the U.S. often for work, this can be a great option as it is cost-effective. Adding your newborn onto your policy will either cost nothing or amount to the typical cost of adding a dependent onto your policy. This insurance plan becomes an even greater possibility if you work for an international government organization. 

Travel Insurance 

Multiple companies provide traveler’s insurance, which offers medical coverage of international clients and their newborn babies, with no surrogacy exclusions. However, some of these insurance plans do require that they are held for a certain amount of time prior to the birth of the child, meaning that this plan needs to be done in advance. Many of these plans only cover complications, not routine newborn care.

How much does insurance cost for surrogacy maternity coverage?

If you have done the math and your surrogate’s insurance plan doesn’t cover surrogacy, fear not! You can choose to purchase comprehensive surrogacy-specific coverage. Although this is a great fallback, the cost-effectiveness of this option will vary depending on your unique circumstances.

For instance, while the thought of paying out-of-pocket for surrogacy sounds difficult, surrogacy insurance plans also tend to be expensive. Although, the benefit of surrogacy coverage insurance plans is that they cover surrogate medical costs, which may make these plans a great remedy if your health insurance plan doesn’t offer much coverage. It’s not recommended to cash pay without placing some kind of stop loss policy, but there are backup plans for cash paying to limit your financial liability and add a safety net. 

If you’re choosing to purchase a new insurance policy for your surrogate or opting for a completely new insurance plan, it’s important to consider if this plan will be accepted at your surrogate’s preferred OB/GYN and delivery hospital for her comfort. It may require a little back-and-forth to discover facilities that are within your surrogate’s defined preferences for all prenatal visits and the delivery that also takes your insurance. This will ensure that you are paying minimal out-of-pocket costs, and do not become responsible for the full amount of medical services or your baby’s hospital care.

The insurance advisor referred by your surrogacy agency can be a great resource in ensuring you choose a plan that is going to offer value to you based on your needed services. 

Explore your options for surrogacy insurance  

Don’t let worries of cost stop you from growing the family of your dreams. Though surrogacy is expensive, Hatch Egg Donation & Surrogacy provides surrogacy that strives to be inclusive to many families' fertility needs and budgets.

Click here to get connected with a financial advisor to discuss payment options, such as long-term payment plans, split payments, and surrogacy insurance options. Our team is excited to be a part of your fertility journey.

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