Fighting for Insurance Coverage for Surrogacy in NH
Dear Savvy Surrogate,
What is going on with the insurance coverage in New Hampshire, specifically related to surrogacy? Insurance is scary and something I am unsure about it. I hear good things are happening but am unsure as to what they are. Would love an update.
Looking forward to hearing from you,
What's Up with Insurance Coverage in NH
Dear What's Up:
Thanks for asking this important question about insurance coverage in New Hampshire. Our Co-Directors have been busy advocating for this important project.
Right now, most New Hampshire residents have no or minimal insurance coverage for infertility. This means New Hampshire intended parents have to pay out-of-pocket for the in vitro fertilization (IVF) services needed to make their embryos for a surrogacy journey. What does this include? Screening, ovarian stimulation, monitoring, medications, and egg retrieval for the intended mother (or egg donor). For the intended father, this includes screening and collection of sperm. Then the eggs and sperm are combined in the laboratory (shout out here for modern science!!) and cultured for 5-ish days. Embryos may be tested for abnormalities and then frozen for later use. All in all, the cost of medical treatments for one IVF cycle is $15,000-$25,000 (and sometimes more!).
This is tremendous financial burden on intended parents, who also have to foot the bills for non-medical costs such as their surrogate’s compensation. RESOLVE New England (RNE) decided to step up to the plate and do something about this inequity. Our Co-Director Catherine Tucker is a New Hampshire Board Member of RNE and has been instrumental in leading this project.
The RNE team worked with New Hampshire legislators to draft a bill that would require insurance companies to cover IVF, including IVF when the embryos will later be used with a gestational surrogate. Catherine and the other team members worked closely with insurance companies to develop language that the insurance companies could implement, which was an identified important goal of the legislators who supported this bill.
Negotiations yielded some compromises. One compromise on the Senate side was to limit coverage to group health plans (this would be the kind of insurance you purchase through your workplace). A compromise on the House side was to keep coverage for the making of the embryos to be used later with a surrogate, but remove coverage for the actual embryo transfer itself in surrogacy arrangements. The insurance companies made it clear that embryo transfers to surrogates would present them with insurmountable logistical hurdles. While all of us at New England Surrogacy were disappointed to learn that embryo transfers could not be included, it was important to not let this one piece of the process derail the entire bill. After all, the most expensive parts of the process—the making of embryos—is covered! This provides an important financial benefit to New Hampshire intended parents, whether or not they will be working with a surrogate.
The RNE team lobbied hard for the passage of this bill and was able to obtain bi-partisan support in both chambers of the New Hampshire Legislature. As of today, the bill has passed the House and the Senate (woohoo!). Both the House and the Senate will have a chance to review the most recent compromise language and then the bill will head to the Governor’s desk. We are hopeful that the Governor will choose to sign the bill.
If you want to show your support for this bill, please reach out to New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu and ask him to sign SB279, Relative to Access to Fertility Care. When filling out this form please select Opinion-Support and Category-Health Care. Let’s make New Hampshire the next state to have infertility insurance coverage!!
All the best,
The Savvy Surrogate