Health insurance for a surrogate should be one of the first things to address when beginning the surrogacy process. Intended parent(s) should be informed of the financial implications of the surrogate's maternity coverage and health insurance options at the outset. Many of our attorneys recommend that this be addressed even before intended parents invest in medical clearance of a surrogate.
One option is to obtain surrogate maternity insurance from insurance agencies that offer an insurance product specifically designed to cover a surrogate pregnancy. This is the most secure option. It can also be relatively expensive.
Another option is to look to the surrogate’s own health insurance for coverage of her maternity expenses. It is imperative to have a competent insurance professional or attorney review the plan, before deciding to rely on it for coverage. While some health insurance plans cover a surrogate’s maternity expenses, others may exclude them. Some plans have exclusionary language that is quite unclear. Some try to include exclusions, which may be determined not to be enforceable. Coverage may also be affected by state or federal law.
If the surrogate’s insurance is deemed acceptable, keep in mind that events out of the parties’ control could affect that coverage. The employer may change plans or insurance carriers during the pregnancy. The insurer may amend the plan to change the terms. The surrogate or her husband may leave the employment through which they have insurance.
Another option that may be available in some areas is to obtain insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Because this is a moving target, it is recommended to work through an insurance professional with ACA and surrogacy experience. Keep in mind that these plans are only available during open enrollment or with a qualifying event. If the surrogacy process extends beyond a plan year, it is possible that the terms of the plan may change.