Does Health Insurance Cover Surrogacy? 

Does Health Insurance Cover Surrogacy?

It’s no secret that health insurance can be expensive and challenging to understand. If you’re interested in becoming a surrogate or a parent through surrogacy, making sure there is “surrogacy-friendly” insurance in place to cushion the medical expenses is a critical step in the surrogacy process. Because it can take time to decipher an insurance policy and find decent coverage, we rely on insurance experts in the field of surrogacy to help review or find policies that are appropriate for a surrogacy journey.

Ultimately, health insurance coverage is essential for keeping a surrogate healthy and supported during the pregnancy. It is also key in controlling costs for the intended parent or parents, who are already making a large investment financially to grow their family through surrogacy. Every situation is different, and finding the ideal insurance policy depends on where you live, what kind of insurance is available, and several other variables. Speaking with an insurance professional recommended by your surrogacy agency will help you understand the options available for you. Insurance professionals can also review current policies to determine if they are likely “surrogacy-friendly.”

Is surrogacy covered by insurance? Keep reading to learn more about the basics of surrogacy insurance coverage.

Surrogacy insurance options

If you’re trying to start a family through surrogacy, you care about your surrogate and want to provide the best care possible throughout their pregnancy. Being matched to a surrogate who has insurance or is willing to obtain insurance can help cover the medical costs to make the process more affordable. The pregnancy medical bills are covered by your surrogate’s insurance. Your newborn medical bills are covered by your own insurance, as the legal parent. All major medical insurance policies will cover a typical pregnancy, however, some providers exclude surrogate pregnancies explicitly in their full terms of coverage document.

In rare cases, general health insurance policies may offer additional coverage you can purchase to help pay for a surrogacy journey. This ability makes it easy to add coverage with your existing insurance provider rather than starting a brand new policy. While it’s an added initial expense, it’s better than covering medical fees out of pocket.

The intended parents are responsible for covering surrogacy journey related medical costs to the surrogate throughout the pregnancy, birth, and postpartum process. Still, a surrogate’s insurance can help lower that financial obligation, especially if there are medical complications during or after the journey. If you’re trying to become a parent, your surrogate’s medical insurance may cover medical expenses related to the pregnancy, but you are responsible for copays and bills after insurance is applied. It is possible to reach the deductible of an insurance policy within a calendar year, or there may be no deductible for the policy at all.

If your surrogate’s insurance excludes maternity coverage for surrogacy, you can typically set up a second insurance policy to help you cover the costs. In this case, one policy becomes the primary policy, and the other, the secondary policy. This depends on the “coordination of benefits” between the two policies, and insurance professional consultation is advised. A surrogacy insurance agent is able to assist in determining whether a secondary policy is possible. If you choose to pay expenses out of pocket via “self-pay,” you can speak with your insurance agent about expected costs so you can prepare your finances accordingly. Because of unexpected medical complications that can occur in any pregnancy, having no insurance for a surrogate is not advised.

Regardless of which option you choose, understanding your insurance coverage will help you prepare and know what to expect throughout the surrogacy process.

Common questions about surrogacy insurance

It’s common to have questions about surrogacy insurance, so we’ve got you covered with some answers to FAQs.

1. Does insurance cover surrogacy for gay couples?

At the moment, it can be challenging for any intended parents to receive coverage for a surrogacy journey under their own policy. Most insurance companies require couples and single women to attempt to get pregnant on their own or with artificial insemination before covering the cost of IVF or surrogacy. Since two cisgender men could never carry a pregnancy themselves, male couples are being denied coverage.

In the future, insurance companies may change their policies as couples and organizations advocate to change this restriction in court.

2. Does insurance cover infertility treatments?

According to Resolve, “As of June 2022, 20 states have passed fertility insurance coverage laws, 14 of those laws include IVF coverage, and 12 states have fertility preservation laws for iatrogenic (medically-induced) infertility.” If you live outside of those states, your insurance may not cover these treatments, but they may offer additional coverage you can purchase.

3. How much will a surrogacy insurance policy cost?

The cost of monthly insurance premiums for a policy that covers surrogacy will vary greatly. Employer policies typically cost less than policies through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Speak with your surrogacy agent and insurance provider to receive a detailed estimate. Typically, the higher the premium costs per month, the lower the annual deductible, and vice versa. Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance policies per month generally cost between $300 and $900 per month, but costs vary by coverage details, state, and insurance company.

4. If an insurance policy is “surrogacy-friendly,” what will it cover?

A insurance policy that is suitable for surrogacy will cover medical expenses throughout the pregnancy, birth, and post-birth recovery process for the surrogate. Note that intended parents are still responsible for your surrogate’s compensation, copays, and medical costs after insurance is applied.

5. Does the baby need a separate insurance policy?

Typically, no. Your baby’s medical bills after birth are covered under the insurance of the legal parent(s) because there is a “qualifying life event.”Intended parents can typically add their baby to their existing medical coverage. Some intended parents may choose to obtain a new insurance policy for their baby via the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

6. Does TRICARE cover a surrogate pregnancy?

No. At this time, TRICARE is not a suitable policy for someone who wants to become a surrogate. Typically, a secondary policy can be obtained through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) during yearly enrollment periods or through a qualifying life event.

7. Is an employer policy or an ACA policy better for a surrogacy journey?

There are pros and cons to each kind of insurance policy for your surrogate. The benefit of a surrogacy-friendly insurance policy through your surrogate or surrogate’s spouse’s employer is potential reduced costs. It’s important to keep in mind the yearly deductible for any policy used in a surrogacy journey as joureys can span multiple calendar years. In the case of an employer policy, you may choose to not need a secondary or back-up insurance policy. The risk with insurance being tied to your surrogate’s work is the possibility of your surrogate losing employment or the policy becoming unfriendly toward surrogate journey coverage in a new calendar year. An ACA policy through the Affordable Care Act comes with increased costs per month via premiums, but generally, obtaining the same or a similar policy year after year is a fairly simple process. An ACA policy is not connected to a surrogate or her partner’s employment status.

How to afford a surrogacy journey

How to afford a surrogacy journey

While bringing a child into the world is priceless, it can be challenging to afford the associated fees, particularly with a surrogacy journey. Depending on your surrogate’s insurance policy, medical expenses can be costly. However, it’s possible to save enough to afford surrogacy for your family with some planning and organization.

The following strategies can help you raise funds to pay for surrogacy:

  • Match with a surrogate who has or can obtain “surrogacy-friendly” insurance: Additionally, if you don’t already have medical insurance, it’s important to have a plan that will cover your newborn’s medical expenses or obtain a separate policy for your newborn. Even if you have to pay some expenses out of pocket, you’ll still have coverage to help offset certain expenses. Note: International intended parents need to consult carefully with a surrogacy professional to plan for their newborn that is born in the United States.
  • Start saving early: Once you decide that surrogacy is the best choice for your family, start saving money right away. Setting aside a small investment every month will add up over time and collect interest. Essentially, the earlier you begin, the more prepared you’ll be when you start your surrogacy journey.
  • Apply for grants: Because infertility is relatively common, many organizations raise money for grants to help prospective parents pay for surrogacy. Consider applying for these grants to help cover the costs of surrogacy insurance and other related expenses. Men Having Babies is also known for their Gay Parenting Assistance Program (GPAP). Read more about intended parent financing for a journey here.
  • Ask for donations: While it can feel like an imposition to ask family and friends for money, you may be surprised at how many people are happy to support your journey to parenthood. Consider asking your loved ones for assistance via an online fundraiser. Some couples ask for cash instead of setting up a registry for their wedding to help collect donations. Either way, it can sometimes take a village to have a child.

Navigate surrogacy insurance with Creative Family Connections

At Creative Family Connections, we manage the legal and technical aspects of surrogacy to provide a happy and stress-free experience through your journey to parenthood. Our goal is to help you grow your family, no matter your race, gender, sex, sexual orientation, and background. We can help match you with a surrogate and guide you through the process. Having helped families through surrogacy since 2001, we know how to navigate the intricacies involved with a surrogacy journey.

For more information about health insurance and surrogacy, contact us with your questions today!

Navigate surrogacy insurance with Creative Family Connections

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