Insurance Tricks or Treats
Fall brings some pretty great things: Crisp air, falling leaves, roasting green chile, pumpkin spice everything (ok, that one is up for debate as to great or ick…), maybe a tiny bit or early snow, and a favorite holiday for many, Halloween. Of course, what good is a Halloween story without a bit of a jump scare? For kids, a little shriek and it’s all fun and games, but for adults? Well, the things that frighten us get bigger and have longer reaching implications. One of those things: Insurance!
Insurance can be scary enough when you are just looking at it for yourself (and we won’t even get into the horror of the fact that most insurance coverages don’t include anything related to infertility in their plans), but add gestational surrogacy to the mix and most people would rather be locked in a house with Michael Myers.
But never fear, there are plenty of options this time of year (and even some if you are reading this January through September!). If you are unsure whether your gestational carrier has surrogacy friendly insurance we highly recommend that you have her policy professionally reviewed. Several companies, such as ART Risk Solutions, New Life and Whillock Insurance Services can provide professional reviews for a reasonable fee. Yes, it’s one more expense in the midst of a very expensive process, but for the comparatively small cost, it is worth the peace of mind. If the policy is found to be surrogacy friendly, that’s great news! But what if it isn’t?
Open enrollment has already begun in California and begins in all other states on November 1. Many (most!) states have insurance policies available through the exchange that are surrogacy friendly, but can vary from county to county within the state. How to wade through what is on offer is the true question. Your insurance professional should be able to help you find the perfect fit – companies such as ART Risk will undertake a search and consultation with you for a reasonable fee. But act fast!! Open enrollment closes in almost all states on December 15. In nine states open enrollment doesn’t close until even later so you have a little bit longer. Colorado is lucky enough to be one of those states and our open enrollment period doesn’t close until January 12, 2019. DO be aware, though, that policies purchased between December 15, 2018 and January 12, 2019 will automatically have an effective date on February 1, 2019 instead of January 1!
But what if you are looking for insurance outside of open enrollment, what then? There are options, although costs may be higher. Most surrogacy insurance brokers sell a policy that is commonly referred to as the “Lloyds of London policy.” It’s definitely not inexpensive, but can be far more flexible and convenient as it is issued for the term of the gestational surrogacy agreement (thus isn’t subject to annual max out of pocket potentially over multiple years) and has no networks to worry about so your gestational carrier can see whichever provider and go to whatever hospital she chooses with no worry about her doctor being covered. There are other options that can be explored as well, such as Bridge the Gap policies or even cash pay negotiators.
Yes, insurance can be terrifying, but armed with knowledge and the assistance of professionals, there is hope that your surrogacy will be closer to a treat than a trick! As always, we are more than happy to talk you through the options. Sign up for a free consultation today!