Getting surrogate insurance coverage, that is, medical insurance to cover the surrogate pregnancy, can be tricky. There are a few different options for obtaining practical surrogacy insurance, depending on the situation of the surrogate mother and intended parents.
First, if at all possible, plan to use the surrogate mother’s existing health insurance policy, probably thorough her employer or her husband’s. Most health insurance policies will cover a surrogate mother, as their own insured, while she is pregnant. It is frankly none of the insurance company’s business how she got pregnant!
But some insurance companies are going out of their way to prevent surrogate motherhood. Take a copy of the surrogate’s insurance benefits booklet to your surrogacy attorney to verify if you can use this policy.
If that doesn’t work, there are a few more ways to obtain surrogate insurance coverage. The easiest, and least expensive at this point is to purchase a regular individual plan from a local insurance agency. Watch, again, for exclusions with surrogate motherhood. Also, sometimes these plans come with a 6-12 month waiting period before they will pay for pregnancy.
It probably should be mentioned that the insurance policy an intended parent carries, most likely through their employment, will not cover the pregnancy of the surrogate mother, regardless of the fact that it is their biological child. The surrogate mother is not the insured party.
There are some surrogacy insurance policies specifically designed for surrogate mothers. These policies really only insure a worst case scenario event, cost thousands to purchase, and come with deductibles in the $5,000-10,000 range. Some intended parents choose to add this sort of policy onto an existing surrogate insurance coverage.
But what happens when a surrogate mother and her intended parents believe that they are covered, get pregnant, and then find out there was an error and her insurance company refuses to cover the pregnancy? Or what if she loses the coverage halfway through the surrogate pregnancy?
There are not too many private insurance companies out there willing to insure a preexisting condition, such as an already pregnant woman. (And if you find one, please let me know!) The options are few in this situation. The intended parents can either pay for the rest of the medical bills in cash, hopefully negotiating a better rate directly with hospitals and doctor’s offices, or they can purchase a discount medical card.
A discount medical card will save the intended parents some considerable money, but it is not the same as having actual surrogate insurance coverage. Still, it’s a terrific option for those in this sort of sticky situation, and can be obtained after the surrogate mother is already pregnant.