a piggy bank by a stethoscope representing the cost of surrogacy with insurance

Does Insurance Cover Surrogacy? How Surrogacy Costs Work


a piggy bank by a stethoscope representing the cost of surrogacy with insurance

The cost of surrogacy can be expensive, but is paying out of pocket the only option? Does insurance pay for surrogacy? The short answer is that it depends, with some policies being more restrictive than others. 

If you’re insured, you might be curious if your policy will cover any surrogacy expenses. Many, but not all, insurance companies will cover the maternity costs of a woman pregnant as a surrogate as long as she is insured under that policy. More employers are offering reproductive services coverage under their group plans for the expenses of IVF and even surrogacy.

This blog was co-authored by Virginia Hart, the Founder & CEO of ART Risk Solutions, an organization that advises on coverage for intended parents and gestational carriers.

Does Health Insurance Cover Surrogacy?

There are two separate expenses when considering surrogacy and health insurance: the cost of the IVF procedures and the medical cost associated with the pregnancy for the gestational surrogate. Many insurance policies do not cover IVF expenses, however, many companies are starting to add fertility benefits to assist in covering IFV procedures such as egg retrieval; sperm retrieval and storage; and embryo creation, storage, and implantation.  

Many insurance companies will cover the cost of the gestational carrier’s pregnancy under the maternity benefits of her policy. However, the cost of becoming pregnant – the IVF procedure – is typically excluded from most insurance policies.

Virginia Hart, Founder & CEO of ART Risk Solutions

The intended parents may have some coverage to help with the IVF costs, and if the gestational carrier does have fertility coverage, her policy typically will not cover the IVF costs as she is not infertile.

Intended Parents: Schedule a free consultation with one of our experts to learn more about the surrogacy process. 

How Does Surrogacy Work With Insurance?

What will and won’t be covered by insurance during the family-building process varies greatly from policy to policy and state to state. Some states, such as Illinois, mandate IVF benefits, and many policies will cover some of the costs of egg retrieval, fertilization, and implantation.

The intended parents policy will be of little or no help with the costs of the pregnancy. It is the gestational carrier’s policy that will cover maternity. Approximately 60% of all employer sponsored plans will cover a surrogate’s pregnancy. Every state except Wyoming has Affordable Care Act Plans that will cover the pre-natal, post-natal, and delivery costs for the gestational carrier. There are also specialty plans underwritten by Lloyds of London that were developed for surrogacy and will cover the maternity costs of a gestational carrier

Will Insurance Cover Surrogacy Expenses For The Surrogate And The Baby?

Insurance policies that cover surrogacy will typically cover expenses for the surrogate during pregnancy and postpartum. This coverage extends to the baby while in utero. However, once the baby is born, they are the legal child of the intended parents and are not covered under the surrogate’s policy.

Domestic parents may add a child to their employer-sponsored plan within 30 days of birth with the plan backdating to the date of birth. An Affordable Care Act plan may also be available, and intended parents have 60 days to enroll with the date of coverage backdating to the date of birth. 

For the ACA plans, the intended parents must reside in the state they are purchasing insurance in. Should neither of the above options be possible, specialty plans underwritten by Lloyds of London are also available. For international intended parents, specialty plans are available, and while expensive, they do offer security and peace of mind. In some post-birth states, there may be other options available to the international intended parents. 

Will Insurance Pay For Surrogacy For Intended Parents?

There are no insurance policies that will help mitigate the cost of attorney fees, agency fees, and other expenses not covered by insurance. However, it is becoming more common for companies to offer benefits for these things on a cash basis – for example, up to $30,000 is available to cover these costs. Many times the funds are administered by an outside third party such as Progeny, WIN fertility, Carrot, and the like.

Review our surrogate compensation breakdown to see the potential costs intended parents will need to cover. 

What Surrogacy Costs Can Be Covered By Health Insurance?

Again, the specifics of surrogacy insurance policies can vary widely between carriers and plans, though the following are some of the costs that are sometimes covered by health insurance plans: 

  • Fertility treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF)
  • Maternity care for the surrogate
  • Ultrasounds
  • Lab testing
  • Prenatal visits
  • Postpartum care for the surrogate
  • Newborn hospitalizations
  • Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) expenses

Does The U.S. State Impact Surrogacy Insurance Coverage?

Surrogacy insurance coverage can vary significantly by state due to different legal standings on surrogacy and insurance regulations. For instance, a growing number of states require insurance companies to offer some level of coverage for infertility treatments, though Minnesota is not one of them. In fact, there are no laws or statutes regulating surrogacy in the state. 

Learn about how the surrogacy process works with our in-depth guide. 

What Is The Best Insurance For Surrogacy?

The best insurance for surrogacy will depend on the intended parents’ unique needs and situation. Be sure to have an insurance expert thoroughly review your and the surrogate’s existing plans to be aware of any exclusions that might apply and identify gaps in coverage. 

When looking for an insurance plan that caters specifically to the needs of surrogacy, look for one that covers prenatal care, delivery expenses, and postnatal care for the surrogate. Intended parents should look at their insurance policy for coverage for fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intrauterine insemination (IUI). While less common, more and more employers are adding these benefits.

Virginia Hart, Founder & CEO of ART Risk Solutions

How To Choose A Surrogacy Agency With Insurance Expertise

Because insurance coverage for surrogacy can vary so greatly between providers, it’s best to work with a specialist such as ART Risk Financial and Insurance Solutions who helps you understand what your specific policy covers and what the surrogate’s insurance will pay for. For this reason, you should select a surrogacy agency that not only has a robust matching and support system but also offers significant expertise in navigating the complexities of surrogacy and insurance and partners with experts in the insurance field.

Look for an agency, like IARC, that has experience in dealing with insurance matters and can help streamline the surrogacy process for intended parents. At IARC, our proven process includes guided support at every step, including dedicated medical insurance support. We help you review and understand your surrogate’s coverage and discuss newborn or backup coverage options if needed. 

two dads with two kids that they had through surrogacy

IARC Surrogate Agency Will Guide You Through Surrogacy Costs And Insurance Coverage During Your Journey

So, is surrogacy covered by insurance? It depends, but it’s likely your policy won’t cover all surrogacy costs. Depending on where you live, the insurance carrier you have, and your specific plan and the plan of your gestational carrier, only certain surrogacy costs may be covered. This typically includes prenatal care for the surrogate under the gestational carrier’s plan. The baby is usually under the parent’s plan if domestic or a specialty insurance plan if international; this may exclude fertility treatments and other expenses intended parents incur during the process.

While it can be challenging to navigate insurance coverage complexities on your own, working with a trusted agency like IARC can provide personalized guidance and peace of mind throughout the surrogacy journey. 

If you’re interested in learning more about surrogacy, schedule a free consultation to speak with one of our experts.

You can also contact ART Risk Solutions for more information on surrogacy insurance.

Website: artrisksolutions.com

Phone: 1-661-257-6242

Email: [email protected]