Understanding Surrogacy Insurance: A Guide for International Intended Parents

Written by Guest Experts ART Risk Financial & Insurance Solutions, Inc.

Understanding and securing the right insurance for your surrogacy journey is most often an overwhelming aspect of an international surrogacy journey. Securing surrogacy insurance is an important task for all parties to ensure the path to parenthood is financially protected against unforeseen challenges.  It is important to seek insurance guidance from an insurance agency with experience in Assisted Reproduction, and specifically surrogacy journeys.

For international Intended Parents, who may be accustomed to universal healthcare systems, understanding the complex surrogacy insurance offerings in a different country can be daunting.  In this blog post, we will discuss the various policy types, exploring the importance of each and why it is important to utilize the assistance of an insurance brokerage who has extensive experience with placing insurance policies for surrogacy journeys.

Understanding the basics of surrogacy insurance (Why do you need it?)

For international Intended Parents embarking on the surrogacy journey, understanding how the medical insurance system works is essential.  Unlike universal healthcare systems, which many might be familiar with, surrogacy insurance in countries like the United States involves navigating more complex options of private insurance policies. There are individual policies that each serve a purpose in the journey (each explained below).  These policies are not just a formality, but critical financial protection, and often a necessary component of a surrogacy contract. Serving to protect against financial risks associated with the surrogacy process, these policies cover aspects like maternity medical coverage, medical complications, unforeseen circumstances that could arise during pregnancy and childbirth, as well as coverage for the newborn after delivery.  Each type of insurance policy is explained below.

Types of insurance policies needed for a surrogacy journey

It is crucial for Intended Parents, especially those who live outside of the United States, to seek guidance about their insurance options from a licensed insurance brokerage that specializes in covering surrogacy journeys. Each type of insurance plays an important role in safeguarding different aspects of the surrogacy journey.

IVF Complication Insurance:  This policy covers the financial and contractual obligations and limits expenses related to complications from the embryo transfer for either the Donor or Recipient (policies also available that cover both).  In most cases, traditional medical insurance does not cover complications from an IVF transfer, and thus, a specific policy must be placed to cover any expenses due to complications.

Health Insurance for the Surrogate: A fundamental policy that covers the medical expenses of the Surrogate during pregnancy. Coverage includes prenatal care, delivery costs, and any complications that may arise. For international Intended Parents, understanding the details of this coverage is crucial, as healthcare systems and costs can significantly differ from those in their home countries.  (Medical expenses for a surrogacy pregnancy without any complications can range from $15,000-$40,000 US Dollars)

Life Insurance for the Surrogate: Provides financial protection to the Surrogate’s family in the unfortunate event of her death. This policy is often required for the Intended Parents to have in place according to the surrogacy contract.

Short-Term Disability Insurance: Designed to cover the Surrogate’s loss of wages in case she is unable to work due to pregnancy-related issues.

Newborn Insurance: Newborn insurance covers medical expenses for the baby (or babies) immediately after birth.

From ensuring the health and safety of the Surrogate to protecting the Newborn’s well-being, these policies collectively provide financial protection for the Intended Parents, as without these policies in place, there are many open financial risks falling on the Intended Parents’ responsibility. Understanding and choosing the right combination of insurance coverages is key to managing the financial risks and uncertainties in the surrogacy process, making the journey toward parenthood more secure and stress-free.

Surrogacy-friendly insurance: navigating specialized coverage

Surrogacy-friendly insurance is designed to fill a critical gap in traditional health insurance coverage, as many U.S. health insurance policies exclude surrogate pregnancies, leaving a significant void in coverage for medical expenses related to prenatal care, delivery, and any complications that may arise during the surrogacy journey. If your Surrogate has medical insurance from an employer or a spouse, it is important to have this policy verified that it will, in fact, cover the surrogacy journey.  This verification is often called a “Policy Validation” or “Policy Review”.

To most accurately determine that your Surrogate’s policy will cover a surrogacy journey, it is recommended to have the policy reviewed by a licensed insurance agent or other professional who knows the specific policy language to look for and specific questions to ask the insurance carrier when confirming if the policy will cover the intended surrogacy journey.  If it is found that the Surrogate’s current policy will not cover a surrogacy, then it is suggested that the Intended Parents schedule a consultation with a licensed insurance agent to determine other medical insurance policy options and place a policy for the Surrogate that will cover the medical expenses for the pregnancy.  For Intended Parents, securing such insurance is a key step in responsibly managing the surrogacy arrangement, ensuring that the Surrogate’s health and well-being are prioritized and financially protected and that the baby has quality medical care in utero.

Surrogacy-friendly insurance policies provide a comprehensive safety net, covering aspects that regular health insurance policies might overlook. This includes coverage for routine prenatal visits, necessary medical procedures during pregnancy, childbirth costs, and any potential complications.

Insurance for your Newborn

For international Intended Parents, securing insurance for the newborn is not just a precaution; it’s an essential safeguard in the United States, which does not have universal healthcare. The birth of a child is a momentous event, but it can also bring unforeseen medical needs and expenses, particularly in places like the United States where healthcare costs are notably high. For residents of the United States, a newborn can automatically be added to the Intended Parents’ existing insurance policy. However, for international Intended Parents, the situation is markedly different and more complex. In the absence of an existing U.S.-based insurance policy, these parents face the challenge of securing appropriate coverage for their newborn in a healthcare system that is unfamiliar and often expensive.

This is where newborn insurance specifically tailored for surrogacy situations becomes invaluable. It ensures that from the moment of birth, the child is covered for a variety of medical needs, ranging from routine care and check-ups to more serious medical interventions that may be required for the health of your newborn baby.

This specialized insurance is crucial because, without it, international Intended Parents could encounter significant financial costs in accessing healthcare for their newborn. The costs for neonatal care and any potential treatments in the U.S. can be substantial (more than $50,000 US Dollars), and without proper insurance, these costs can become a significant burden. Moreover, navigating the healthcare system and understanding the complexity of billing and insurance claims in a foreign country can be daunting tasks for International Parents.

Securing newborn insurance offers more than just financial protection; it provides peace of mind. Knowing that their newborn’s medical needs are covered, allows parents to focus on the joy and well-being of their child, rather than being overwhelmed by the complexities and costs of medical care in a foreign healthcare system. For international Intended Parents, this insurance is not just a policy—it’s a crucial step in ensuring a smooth and worry-free start to their new journey of parenthood.

Choosing the right insurance brokerage for surrogacy insurance needs

For international Intended Parents, selecting the right insurance brokerage for surrogacy is a decision that carries significant weight. It’s not just about finding a policy; it’s about partnering with a broker who understands surrogacy, especially in an international context.

When choosing an insurance brokerage, Intended Parents should look for expertise in surrogacy-related insurance. This includes a deep understanding of the legal and medical aspects of surrogacy and experience in dealing with the specific challenges that can arise in these cases.  Transparency is another critical factor. The insurance broker should offer clear information about policy terms, coverage limits, exclusions, and costs. This transparency is crucial for parents to make informed decisions and avoid unexpected expenses or coverage gaps after policies are in place.

Additionally, international Intended Parents should consider the customer service and support an insurance broker can provide.  Surrogacy can be an emotional and stressful journey, so having a responsive and supportive insurance team can make a significant difference. This support can range from assistance in filing claims to providing advice on how to navigate healthcare systems in a foreign country.

Securing Peace of Mind in Your Surrogacy Journey

Navigating the complexities of surrogacy insurance is a critical aspect of the journey toward parenthood, especially for international Intended Parents. Understanding the various insurance policies, from health and life insurance for the Surrogate to newborn and complication insurance, is essential in safeguarding this unique path. Choosing the right insurance broker, one that offers expertise, transparency, and support, is equally important. As you embark on this remarkable journey, remember that the right insurance coverage is more than a safety net; it’s a foundation for peace of mind, allowing you to focus on the joy and fulfillment of welcoming a new life into your family.


About ART Risk Financial & Insurance Solutions, Inc.

ART Risk Financial & Insurance Solutions, Inc. is dedicated to serving the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) community. Their mission involves evaluating, educating, and empowering those in the ART community by sharing knowledge, assessing financial risks, and building honest partnerships. For more than two decades, they have supported over 20,000 families on their path to parenthood. The team at ART Risk Solutions is committed to educating clients and evaluating solutions tailored to individual needs, advocating to minimize risk while upholding policy integrity.

Virginia Hart, the CEO and Founder, emphasizes the company’s commitment to quality services, respect, and compassion for clients, aiming to safeguard their most precious assets – their families. ART Risk Solutions is known for its creative solutions, service, and care, and is licensed in all 50 states. They have been a part of the Assisted Reproductive Technology industry since 2001, offering competitive pricing and an unparalleled level of service and value.