By Mary Ellen McLaughlin

My, how times have changed, especially when it comes to health insurance and surrogacy. Nine years ago, when ARR started its surrogacy services, the majority of the surrogate’s health insurance plans covered the pregnancy.

Today, over 90 percent of our surrogates pregnancies are not covered by their own health plans as insurers devise new ways to limit their exposure.

ARR asks all prospective surrogates to bring their policies to us. We, along with a lawyer, carefully read through the insurance plans and identify any questionable exclusions (look for a section called reproduction or maternity). We then bring them to the attention of the potential surrogate. Being prepared on this front will help the surrogate feel more comfortable with the entire process.

For intended parents, finding a surrogate who already carries health insurance that does not exclude surrogacy is ideal. But this is the exception, not the rule. Today, specialized maternity insurance for can cost intended parents as much as $35,000 for a multiple pregnancy.

It’s also important to understand that certain procedures are not paid for by the surrogate’s health insurance plan, for which intended parents are responsible. These include IVF treatments, any medication included with those treatments, and fertility testing.

Unfortunately, insurance companies are always coming up with new ways to save a dime. As much as we dislike these surrogacy clauses, they are now becoming standard within the industry.