Ask the Surrogacy Experts

Considering all the costs involved in a surrogacy program, what scares us most are medical costs and hospitals in the USA. What happens if the baby is born premature and the parents and the surrogate have no insurance. The costs would be enormous, and we may not be able to afford these high expenses. What advice and guidance, on what type of insurance should be taken so that you can be 100% safe and not be surprised?
–Best regards, Lawrence


Good morning Lawrence.

This is a great question, and you’re right. If you have a surrogacy program in a country without national health service (like the United States) then medical complications can be devastating. The U.S. health care system is painfully difficult to navigate, and the insurance market is confounding to most international parents. (Not to get political… but really, the U.S. should do something about its ridiculously complicated medical care system.)

To stay safe, any surrogacy program in the U.S. should include two health insurance policies — and how complicated they are depends on where the Intended Parents live.

First… Everyone will need medical insurance for the surrogate mother. There is a good article about finding insurance for your surrogate in the Surrogacy Guide. I suggest you read through it. The cost of insurance will depend on where the surrogate’s personal information (age, location and lifestyle) and also when the pregnancy begins. This policy should cover the full cost of any complication during the pregnancy, minus a co-payment of $2,500 to $5,000 USD.

Second… Every journey needs a medical insurance policy for the baby. If you’re an American resident, you probably already have insurance that can be expanded to cover your new family member. But international parents don’t have that luxury. Parents without a current U.S. insurance policy will need to buy insurance to cover the cost of any complications.

You can buy insurance for the newborn through a couple of routes… but I often recommend insurance through an international provider. The policy is not very expensive, but it needs to be bought before the start of the pregnancy (and you won’t need it until the delivery, if at all). This policy will pay all complications or medical care for the baby for the first 3 months, and often has no co-payment. The caveat is that the policy will absolutely NOT cover a twins pregnancy under any circumstance, so we perform single embryo transfer only (no attempts at having twins by transferring two embryos at a time).

There is also a low-cost life insurance policy for the surrogate, which is a small fee and covers the term of her Agreement.

If you buy the appropriate insurance policies, the risk of major expenses as a result of medical complications during the pregnancy or delivery are negligible.

I hope this answers your questions.
— Bill

About the authors

  • Bill-Houghton
  • Author: William Houghton

    Bill Houghton is the founder of Sensible Surrogacy, author of the Sensible Surrogacy Guide, 2x surrogacy dad, and a dedicated advocate for secure, legal and ethical Gestational Surrogacy. Read Bill's Biography

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