22 Aug 2023
Pregnant woman filling out documents about open enrollment in office

Gestational surrogacy is, to say the least, a complex legal and ethical landscape to navigate, for intended parents and surrogates alike. That complex landscape is made even more so with the rapidly approaching Open Enrollment period, which runs from November to December. Open Enrollment is a period during which individuals can select or modify their health insurance plans. It presents both opportunities and challenges for those engaged in the surrogacy process and this article will delve into how Open Enrollment impacts gestational surrogacy arrangements.

  1. Health Insurance Considerations

    • One of the most significant implications of Open Enrollment on gestational surrogacy is the potential impact on health insurance coverage. Intended parents and surrogates must carefully assess their current insurance policies to determine whether they adequately cover the various medical expenses associated with gestational surrogacy. These expenses can include fertility treatments, prenatal care, labor and delivery, and postpartum care.
    • During the Open Enrollment period, individuals have the opportunity to review their existing health insurance plans and make changes to better align with their needs. Indeed, intended parents may need to explore policies that offer comprehensive coverage for assisted reproductive technologies and maternity care, ensuring that both the surrogate and their child receive appropriate medical attention without undue financial burden.
  2. Coordination of Benefits

    • In cases where intended parents and surrogates have different health insurance plans, coordination of benefits becomes crucial. Open Enrollment serves as an apt time to evaluate how these plans work together to cover medical expenses. This may require coordination between various insurance providers to maximize coverage and minimize out-of-pocket costs.
    • Communication between all parties involved is essential  to ensure that there are no gaps in coverage and that the financial responsibilities are clear.
  3. Legal and Ethical Considerations

    • Gestational surrogacy agreements are legally binding contracts that outline the rights, responsibilities, and expectations of the parties—in this case the intended parents and the surrogate. Open Enrollment may impact these agreements, as changes in insurance coverage could have consequences for the financial arrangements and overall well-being of the surrogate and the child.

Thinking about making changes to insurance plans during Open Enrollment?

Before making any changes to insurance plans during Open Enrollment, intended parents and surrogates should consult with insurance professionals who can opine and advise about various health insurance coverage options.

Open enrollment presents both opportunities and challenges for those engaged in the complex journey of gestational surrogacy. While it allows individuals to optimize their health insurance coverage, it also requires careful consideration to ensure that the medical needs of the surrogate and the child are met without compromising the terms of the surrogacy agreement. As surrogacy continues to be a viable option for many hopeful parents, understanding how Open Enrollment intersects with the process is paramount to a successful and well-prepared surrogacy journey.

As with all articles we write, the above is intended for information purposes only and nothing should be construed as legal advice or suggesting the creation of an attorney-client relationship.  However, if you are interested in pursuing surrogacy as either an intended parent or a surrogate, please feel free to contact our office to schedule a free consultation.