For women and intended parents who consider surrogacy, medical expenses are often on top of the list of concerns. Insurance companies may cover either or both parties. Those asking “How much do you get paid to be a surrogate?” should consider various other factors. While a gestational carrier may receive up to $30,000 (depending on factors such as coverage, previous experience, and the intended parents’ budget),1 clinical expenses and other medical costs are covered by the intended parents (if they’re not covered by insurance).
However, compensation varies by state and agency—specifically, agencies that offer surrogates more benefits, for which intended parents are expected to pay. These include:
- Travel expenses
- Medications, screenings, and embryo transfer
- Compensation for lost income
- Post-birth medical and childcare assistance
- Counseling and support
- Maternity clothes
- Monthly allowance
Surrogate health impacts medical expenses during the cycle. An in-vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle can cost from $15,000 to $30,000, while medications can range from $3,000 to $8,000.2 Genetic testing, embryo freezing and storage, and unexpected expenses related to bedrest and other medical needs can add to the overall cost. Insurance coverage varies for IVF; some policies only cover embryo creation, while others are more comprehensive.
Specific coverages are listed in the intended parents’ or surrogate’s insurance policy.
Insurance Options for Surrogates
A few options are available and include:
- Affordable Care Act (ACA) Coverage: Maternity care is an “essential health benefit” covered by the ACA. Therefore, a surrogate’s individual plan may cover her medical needs over the course of the pregnancy. However, it is very important to have the insurance policy verified by an insurance professional to ensure that maternity benefits are covered if the insured is acting as a gestational carrier. Enrollment periods can complicate matters unless one experiences a “Qualifying Life Event.” Pregnancy is not considered a qualifying life event, although special enrollment qualifications may apply, so check before proceeding with surrogacy agencies and any medical protocols.
- Surrogacy Insurance: Although written specifically for surrogates, such a policy can have high monthly premiums and deductibles. Labor and delivery costs, particularly if there are any complications with the pregnancy, may be offset, but every policy is different and should be fully assessed before any major decisions are made.
- Secondary Insurance: Intended parents may purchase a secondary insurance policy. This coverage can serve as a backup, should there be issues with the surrogate’s health plan, and help offset any lapses in coverage.
As an alternative, intended parents may choose to pay their health care out of pocket, for any expenses not covered by insurance. Regardless of the arrangement, who pays for what should be outlined in legally binding documents (gestational agreement) beforehand. There should always be a plan in place for unexpected.
It is always wise to check with the health insurance company. Depending on the organization, it may allow policyholders to add temporary coverage to an existing plan. If so, be sure to review exactly what is covered, including compensation to the surrogate, fertility treatments, and childbirth.
Contact 3 Sisters Surrogacy Today
Cost is one of the leading factors considered with surrogacy pros and cons. Our agency is built on providing fair rates to surrogates and helping match every intended parent with the right surrogate. Sign up for a free consultation or learn more about our agency fee, payment schedule, and surrogate requirements by contacting us online or calling us toll-free at 877-976-9483.