One of the most common questions we hear at SurrogateFirst is: does health insurance cover all surrogacy costs, including prenatal and postpartum care?
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There’s no quick and easy answer because it depends on the type of insurance you have and whether the surrogate has her own health insurance as well.
Still, it's fair to make a few assumptions when it comes to health insurance and surrogacy, such as the fact that most insurance policies will not cover the entire cost of fertility treatments.
In fact, many health insurance policies in the U.S. explicitly state that they will not cover any surrogacy costs whatsoever.
That's not always the case, so to clarify any confusion you might have, we put together this article to outline the basics to determine whether health insurance covers surrogate pregnancies.
Here’s what you can expect before you contact your health insurance provider for more specifics.
Does insurance cover surrogacy all the time?
At SurrogateFirst, providing you with accurate, honest information is what we strive to accomplish every day. Unfortunately, you don't get the same commitment from other surrogacy agencies, but in our experience, intended parents and surrogates alike deserve to know all their options.
When it comes to insurance and surrogacy arrangements, the bottom line is this: few health insurance policies actually cover the total cost of surrogacy.
Regarding the intended parents' insurance, some health plans may cover the maternity portion for the surrogate mother. Still, once again, they won't pay for any of the required fertility treatments she needs to get pregnant.
On the other hand, a small number of insurance policies may cover certain assisted reproductive technologies like artificial insemination procedures, but only if the surrogate uses her own eggs.
As you can see, there's a lot of maybes and ifs when it comes to health coverage for surrogate mothers.
Whether health insurance covers surrogacy doesn't have a simple answer because health insurance policies vary widely across the country and agency-to-agency.
Does insurance cover surrogacy costs for the surrogate and the baby?
At SurrogateFirst, our top priorities are the health and safety of a surrogate mother and the child that she'll carry. When you arrange a surrogacy through our agency, we'll never move forward without making sure that the right amount of health insurance is in place.
Surrogacy may have come a long way in recent years, but it's still not perfect, nor is a healthy pregnancy guaranteed. Complications may arise during and after pregnancy, and some surrogate mothers may need additional counseling after giving birth.
So any insurance you have must cover both the surrogate mother's well-being and the baby's well-being to suffice.
The catch is that your insurance may claim that they cover everything related to surrogacy – until you get a hefty medical bill in the mail that proves otherwise.
A prime example is the cost of the fertility drugs that a surrogate must take before any procedures come into play.
What other types of costs does insurance cover for surrogacy?
While there's always an exception, the simple answer is this: most insurance providers are hesitant to cover the cost of fertility treatments because they are expensive procedures in general.
Many insurance providers will also consider surrogacy as an elective procedure, triggering exclusions in the policy. For instance, an insurance provider may not cover the cost of transferring the embryo to the surrogate, nor will they cover the cost of using donated eggs.
That's why it's so important to read the fine print carefully before you agree to buy an insurance policy, especially if you're planning to use the insurance for infertility treatments and surrogacy.
Is surrogacy health insurance available too?
The good news is that the insurance industry hasn't completely ignored surrogate mothers and intended parents.
Yet, in both instances, many insurance companies will only offer special riders that extend coverage to surrogacy only for a set amount of time. Usually, it lasts for the duration of the pregnancy, including the following months of recovery.
In other words, you normally can't use a single insurance rider to cover multiple surrogacies if you're looking to start a large family. You'll have to get extra coverage for each pregnancy one by one if that's what your insurance company allows in the first place.
There are also specific "Cadillac" health plans covering almost anything you might need during your lifetime, but those luxury policies are the exception, not the norm, especially when arranging compensated surrogacy.
The good news is that unless an insurance policy specifically excludes medical expenses related to surrogate pregnancies, the policy should pay for a significant portion of the surrogacy.
Some states like New York have also passed laws that prohibit insurance companies from restricting maternity services, including surrogate pregnancies.
If you’re currently searching for coverage, ART Risk Financial offers services geared for intended parents and surrogates. If you'd like to learn more about health insurance and surrogacy, our representatives are also more than happy to answer your questions and go over your options. Contact us here to learn more about the journey into surrogacy.
SurrogateFirst is a boutique surrogate agency specializing in quickly matching intended parents worldwide with our fully qualified, exceptional surrogates.
We help individuals and couples, regardless of race or sexual orientation, build their families through the long journey into surrogacy.
At SurrogateFirst, every team member is either a former intended parent or an experienced surrogate herself. We also have first-hand knowledge of what it takes to have an incredible, successful surrogate journey.