Surrogacy 101

A Brief Guide to Surrogacy Insurance

Written by Nodal Staff

February 14, 2024

Surrogacy insurance plays a pivotal role in the surrogacy journey.

Building a family through surrogacy is a beautiful, though complex, journey. Intended parent(s) are faced with plenty of logistical hurdles to climb, including the involved world of surrogacy insurance. That’s why we’re here. While there are a lot of practical not-so-fun details, it’s crucial to have an understanding of them. In short: we’ve got you covered!

Why is surrogacy insurance so complex?

Before finding a surrogate match the cost of insurance is one of the biggest financial question marks. If the surrogate has surrogacy-friendly insurance, the intended parent(s) are responsible for less financially. If not, there are different options to obtain insurance, all of which cost various amounts.

Adding to the complexity is the time-sensitivity. If the surrogate's existing policy does not provide adequate coverage, open enrollment periods and the availability of surrogacy-friendly insurance options are other obstacles.

When should we start exploring insurance during a surrogacy journey? 

Typically, intended parents take this step after matching with a surrogate and before any medical procedures or treatments begin. However, the timing of obtaining insurance coverage for the surrogate can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the surrogacy arrangement and the preferences of the involved parties. In most cases, it occurs after finalizing the gestational carrier agreement (GCA), also known as the surrogacy agreement.

Who is involved in the process? 

Legal Professionals: Attorneys specializing in reproductive law, also known as ART Lawyers, provide guidance on insurance matters and assist in drafting legal agreements related to insurance coverage. 

Insurance Brokers or Providers: Professionals specializing in surrogacy-specific insurance policies help intended parents find suitable coverage for their surrogate.

How do I determine the type of insurance coverage needed?

The initial step in obtaining insurance for your surrogate is reviewing her existing health insurance policy, which should always be done by third-party reproduction insurance professionals. Some surrogates will have insurance where her prenatal care for a surrogacy pregnancy is covered under her existing policy, which would be considered “surrogate-friendly” insurance.

If the surrogate has surrogacy-friendly insurance confirmed by third-party reproduction insurance professionals, intended parents are usually responsible for smaller dollar amounts. 

If the surrogate doesn’t have surrogacy-friendly insurance but your timing matches up with open enrollment, you can take advantage of Affordable Care Act plans, which are usually moderately expensive. 

If neither of the above options applies, purchasing a private policy through Lloyd’s of London at any time is usually the most expensive option. 

How do I initiate insurance coverage for the surrogate? 

Confirm Coverage and Benefits 

After obtaining surrogacy-specific insurance, carefully review the policy to ensure it provides comprehensive coverage for prenatal care, childbirth, complications, and related expenses. Understanding the terms, coverage limits, and benefits of the policy will ensure adequate protection for both you and your surrogate throughout the surrogacy journey. Don't forget to inquire about life insurance, bill pay, lost organ, and bed rest riders. Having a trusted lawyer and insurance professional to partner with you on this is crucial.

Ensure Continuity of Coverage 

Maintaining continuous insurance coverage for your surrogate from the beginning of the pregnancy until after childbirth is vital. Intended parents typically continue paying the premiums for the surrogate's insurance policy throughout this period to ensure uninterrupted coverage.

Address Potential Gaps in Coverage 

While surrogacy-specific insurance covers most expenses, there may be gaps or out-of-pocket costs. Be prepared to cover any additional expenses that may arise during the surrogacy process to ensure the surrogate's medical needs are adequately met.

Legal and Financial Security 

Lastly, legal agreements should be in place to clarify the intended parents' responsibilities regarding insurance coverage and medical expenses. This protects both parties and prevents misunderstandings or disputes related to insurance matters throughout the surrogacy journey.

While surrogacy is an exhilarating journey, staying grounded in practicalities is essential. It’s essential to consult with insurance companies specializing in third-party reproduction early in the journey to educate yourself on the options. 

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