A gestational carrier, known as a surrogate, makes becoming parents possible for a couple who can't conceive. Unfortunately, a surrogate pregnancy is expensive. At the time of publication, surrogacy can cost between $80,000 and $120,000, Bankrate.com said. If complications arise, the cost is even higher. Health insurance can help ease the financial burden, but finding an insurance policy that covers surrogate pregnancy isn't always an easy task.
In a surrogacy agreement, either the surrogate mother's insurance or the intended parents are responsible for the cost of maternity care. Aside from the separate fee a surrogate charges for her service, the medical costs include doctor's appointments, lab work, ultrasounds, labor and delivery, and other related care. Most insurance policies won't cover a surrogate and her maternity care. Even if your policy doesn't specifically exclude surrogacy, it likely won't cover the surrogate mother. If you are planning a gestational surrogacy and your insurance covers fertility treatments, the insurance may pay for the removal and fertilization of your eggs. However, the insurance likely won't cover the cost of implanting the egg in the surrogate.
Surrogate Health Insurance
Several companies out there specialize in providing insurance coverage for surrogacy and infertility treatment. For example, New Life Agency offers medical insurance plans that provide care from the six-week confirmation of pregnancy up to 18 months after delivery. There are also plans they offer to supplement or provide back-up coverage in case the surrogate mother's insurance rejects the claim. Art Risk Insurance Solutions is another specialty insurance company that offers different levels of insurance that intended parents can purchase for their surrogates.
Surrogate Mother's Insurance
If the surrogate mother has an insurance policy that covers gestational and post-pregnancy care for surrogacy, the intended parents typically pay the co-pays and any other out-of-pocket expenses. The surrogate should get written confirmation of surrogacy coverage from the insurance company. If the surrogate mother has Medicaid or any other state-sponsored insurance plan, she can't use the insurance for her pregnancy. Medicaid refuses to knowingly pay for a surrogacy. In some cases, women who are receiving public assistance or welfare are unable to become surrogates.
Insurance policies vary from state to state. Policies with the same insurance company can even vary among employers. If you heard of your insurance company covering a family's surrogacy, don't assume you'll have the same coverage. It's always best to call the insurance company to determine what exactly is covered and what the exclusions are under your policy. Don't fear raising red flags. If the insurance isn't going to cover the pregnancy, you'll want to know sooner rather than later.
- Bankrate.com: Costs of Adoption vs. Surrogacy
- Steven H. Snyder and Associates: Medical Insurance Issues as They Affect the Selection of a Potential Surrogate
- New Life Agency: Surrogate Maternity Care Insurance
- New Life Agency: Surrogacy Insurance Myths
- Fertility Bridges: Surrogacy Program -- Surrogacy FAQ
- Art Risk Financial and Insurance Solutions: Health Insurance and Surrogacy