Insurance and Surrogacy Costs: The Wild Card

It’s no secret that the United States utilizes a for-profit healthcare system, which means that health insurance companies can pick and choose what they will and will not cover.

For Intended Parents traveling to the United States from abroad for surrogacy, this can be a very daunting process to begin to understand. Even as a born and raised American, I struggle to understand the intricacies of health insurance companies. The most important thing I’ve learned, however, is that insurance companies make their own rules and can change them at anytime.

As gestational surrogacy becomes increasingly mainstream, insurance companies are becoming more aware of it and are including specific exclusions to their policies—meaning some are choosing not to cover maternity care for a surrogate mother. Additionally, unforeseen circumstances can occur—such as loss of employment—and insurance that was established at the start of a surrogacy journey may not be available as the pregnancy progresses.

As a surrogacy agency, we do our best to inform you of your carrier’s applicable insurance status upon matching you with a surrogate, but we have no control over what changes may occur. That said, there are several options available from specialized insurance companies, such as ART Risk and New Life Agency, that can help you to navigate alternative coverage options and establish coverage for your newborn.

For Intended Parents who are residents of the United States, your existing insurance coverage covers your newborn automatically for 30 days. For Intended Parents who reside outside of the United States, you’ll want to work with an insurance specialist, such as the aforementioned ART Risk or New Life Agency, to ensure your newborn has sufficient coverage until you return home.

Regardless of country of residence, under no circumstances should your surrogate’s insurance be transferred over to your baby.

While both ART Risk and New Life Agency offer an array of coverage options for your surrogate, it is of the utmost importance to understand that if an insurance claim for either your surrogate or your child is denied, the sole financial liability of the claim is on you, the Intended Parent. This can be an extremely overwhelming prospect, so we strongly recommend that all Intended Parents embarking on a surrogacy journey consult with a third-party reproductive insurance specialist to help you understand your financial obligations and risk.

Author: Arika Avedano-Tucker