Surrogacy is an act of love. But it is also a financial transaction with a legal contract. And where finances and the law overlap, there is insurance. Think about what happens if something goes wrong. What if something happens to the baby? What if something happens to the surrogate mother? In a pregnancy, no matter how perfect it might appear at first, there is always the possibility that something could go wrong.
Even if nothing goes wrong, there are significant medical costs that go with surrogacy. Consider these costs:
- Lab work
- Labor and delivery
- Doctor appointments
- Implantation of the embryo
- Removal of eggs from the intended mother (or donation from a third party)
As a surrogate mother, your health insurance might cover these costs or some of these cost. However, that is unlikely. Most insurance policies don’t cover these procedures for a surrogate.
The intended mother probably has her own health coverage. That insurance might or might not cover fertility treatments for herself. If it does, it might cover removing her egg and possibly also fertilizing it. But that’s as far as her insurance is likely to cover. It probably won’t cover any of your expenses for a surrogate mother.
Which, if either, of your insurance companies would be obliged to pay for what? This might be a smart time to get legal help, not just to verify which company pays for what, but to be able to hold them accountable if they change their policies mid-way through the procedure.
Keep in mind that if your health insurance policy does not specifically exclude surrogacy, then it must provide the same coverage as for any other pregnancy. How you got pregnant is not material in your insurance coverage unless the policy specifically says so. Your attorney will be able to separate out those costs that your insurance will cover and those that it will not.
It is very unlikely that the transfer will be covered, or that any hormones or tests specific to surrogacy will be covered.
If your insurance policy is fairly narrow, or if you have no insurance at all, you have a few options to fill the void.
The first would be to upgrade your current insurance. There might be a higher level of coverage that includes most of your surrogacy costs.
The second would be to purchase special surrogacy insurance. Several companies offer these policies, so you will be able to shop around.
The third option is to pay costs directly and have the intended parents reimburse you.
A fourth option would be for the intended parents to pay for most expenses directly in advance, so you never even have to worry about the finances.
However you pay for your expenses, it will be the intended parents who pay. You might even let them choose how. The important part is to make sure that the contract stipulates that you get reimbursed and that you will be covered in a worst case scenario, such as if you get permanently disabled by some fluke of nature. In fact, it is for that reason alone that having your own maternity insurance could be worth the cost. Just remember to make sure that the intended parents pay.
Should you have your own maternity insurance to become a surrogate mother? It’s definitely a bonus!