IT’S OPEN ENROLLMENT! And a great time to find a surrogate and build your family. Trying to make the tough subject of insurance a little more exciting, there’s a baby at the end! These are the top 5 questions or concerns about health insurance for a gestational carrier from intended parents:
How do I know if the Gestational Carrier’s insurance covers or excludes surrogacy?
Insurance can be tricky. Sometimes a company is fairly clear but, more often than not, knowing for certain is difficult. There are professional organizations such as ART Risk Solutions that can conduct a professional review of your surrogate’s insurance policy to help clarify if surrogacy is covered. Nothing is a 100% guarantee, but companies such as ART Risk Solutions specialize in insurance, especially related to surrogacy. The nominal fee to clarify and have more certainty is much better than assuming the risk of not knowing.
When is Open Enrollment in Colorado and when does the policy become active if a policy is purchased on the Colorado Health Exchange?
Open Enrollment for Colorado is November 1, 2017 until January 12, 2018, and depending on when you purchase the policy, it can be active as of January 1, 2018 OR February 1, 2018. Colorado does not participate in the federal insurance exchange so the state was able to grant an exception to the enrollment period until January 12, 2018, giving you a little extra time! And having two start dates is pretty awesome as well!
How many plans are available through Colorado’s Health Exchange and what if I need a policy when open enrollment is not available?
According to ART Risk Solutions, Colorado has four surrogacy friendly policies as of October 26, 2017 and availability depends on the county in which the surrogate lives. If a policy is not purchased during open enrollment there is always the year-round option to buy a backup policy through ART Risk Solutions (or a similar insurance broker). These backup policies will cost more money than a policy bought during Open Enrollment, however, the benefit of knowing you have surrogacy covered health insurance outweighs the cost of the policy. Especially when the policy protects against financial responsibility in the event of a catastrophic medical situation.
Can the Gestational Carrier use the Intended Parent’s Insurance?
Unfortunately, the gestational carrier is not an insured person under the IP’s policy, so the IP’s insurance policy cannot be used that way. It is much more important to look at the Gestational Carrier’s current policy and have it reviewed, buy a policy during open enrollment (if the timing is right), or buy a backup policy to make sure that she has health insurance coverage. It is a large cost but many IPs think of it as making sure your child is well taken care of from the very beginning.
What other things should I consider when thinking about health insurance for my surrogate?
When looking into health insurance for a GC, a few other things that you may need to consider are: Does the policy you agree on for your surrogate accept dual coverage in order to work with her current insurance for other health related items not connected with surrogacy? Will this surrogacy journey last over two deductible years? If it does, it is possible that a backup policy through a private broker may be less expensive or at least even in cost over two years time.
Insurance can be tricky and it is not a place to cut corners or try to go it alone. Rely on a professional to make sure you are financially protected throughout your surrogacy journey. If you have specific insurance questions, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can point you in the right direction. And best of luck to all out there working on insurance for 2018 (and beyond) pregnancies!