Losing Health Insurance As A Surrogate
How to Make Sure You Stay Covered After Major Life Changes
One of the trickier situations involved in surrogacy is losing health insurance as a surrogate. While we all certainly hope that the surrogacy process goes smoothly, the truth is that life happens, and sometimes that means you might have had health insurance that covered your surrogacy but lose it during your pregnancy. Here are some situations where that might happen, and how to make sure you are still covered during this important time.
How Does Surrogacy Insurance Work?
Pregnancy and childbirth is a long and complicated medical process, so all surrogates must have health insurance. If the surrogate doesn’t have insurance on her own, or if her health insurance doesn’t cover surrogate pregnancies, then the intended parents must buy an insurance policy for her. That can be very expensive, so many intended parents look for surrogates who already have health insurance that covers surrogacy – and surrogates with insurance often get a compensation bonus. But what happens when a surrogate loses her health insurance during the surrogacy process?
How Does a Surrogate Lose Health Insurance?
The most common reasons why a surrogate can lose their health insurance are:
- Job loss
- Death of a spouse
If your health insurance is through your employer, then losing your job means losing your insurance as well. If you bought your insurance from your state marketplace through the Affordable Care Act (ACA, sometimes called Obamacare), then moving means you are no longer eligible for that insurance. And if you receive health insurance through your spouse’s employer, then divorce or your spouse’s death affects your insurance as well. While these events are very stressful, the good news is there are options for surrogates who have lost health insurance.
What to Do After Losing Health Insurance as a Surrogate
If you have lost health insurance as a surrogate, your options depend on your situation. There are two main options: COBRA and the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
COBRA Insurance Continuation
COBRA is a federal law that allows people to continue using their employer-provided insurance plan even after losing their job. This applies whether you had the insurance through your job or your spouse’s job. If you lose insurance from an employer, you get 60 days to decide if you want to continue through COBRA. One important thing: your former employer doesn’t pay for premiums anymore, so you may have to pay a lot more than you were before for the same care. However, if your job’s insurance plan covers your pregnancy and the premiums aren’t too expensive, this may be a good option. You can learn more about COBRA here.
Affordable Care Act Marketplace
Your other option for getting coverage is to enroll in a plan through the ACA marketplace. Normally, you can only enroll in a plan during the Open Enrollment Period, which is usually from November – December. If you lose insurance from a major life event (like moving, job loss, divorce, or death of a spouse), however, then you can still sign up for ACA health insurance during the year. ACA plans often offer subsidies to lower the cost of premiums, but it’s really important to make sure the plan does not exclude surrogate pregnancies, so you are fully covered. You can sign up for ACA plans here.
Here to Help You Through Losing Surrogacy Insurance
Becoming a surrogate is a big commitment and dealing with other major life events at the same time is really hard. We have experience helping surrogates through unexpected life changes during their surrogacy journey, including losing their health insurance as a surrogate. We work with surrogacy insurance experts to help you choose the right plan and get your coverage back, while also supporting you through the emotions of these changes. If you have questions about health insurance for surrogates, please reach out to us today.