Thursday, June 11, 2009

Surrogacy and Medi-Cal Insurance

This past week I received a telephone call from a surrogate who wanted to know if it was legal for her to use her insurance for her surrogacy. She and the Intended Parent were using a contract that he found on the Internet. The surrogate seemed to think this was okay because he is attending law school so he is an attorney. I explained to her that until he passed the Bar and obtains his license, he is not an attorney. "Oh" and then "well" was her response.

She then told me that her husband is in construction so they are on Medi-Cal (the state of California's low-income insurance plan) so they are going to have two contracts. One that states that the Surrogate is not receiving a fee, which they will send to Medi-Cal as proof that she is doing the surrogacy for no fee and then an amendment that states the fees she will be receiving. She then asked "Is that legal?"

"No. That is insurance fraud and if the insurance company that administers your plan finds out you and your family will lose your insurance, at the very least." I then told her to hire an attorney to protect herself and that if she wants to hire me I would charge more than my going rate because a contract found off the Internet is going to require a lot of work. I also told her to not use her Medi-Cal insurance and that the Intended Parent needs to purchase her insurance to cover the surrogate pregnancy. Frankly, I think she somehow expected me to say something different.

Insurance companies are very, very serious about insurance fraud, especially regarding surrogacy. Medi-Cal insurance does not usually have a surrogacy exclusion so as long as the surrogacy is truly altruistic and there is no compensation paid to the surrogate and the insurance does not exclude a surrogate pregnancy, it is appropriate to use it. But, absolutely not in this surrogate's case. I wish her the best of luck as I'm afraid she's going to need it.

2 comments:

Theresa Erickson said...

Stephanie, I think that we need to scream to the world about all the risks involved in this entire situation. Thanks for bringing it up, and I hope that others head warning before jumping into the unknown, especially with contracts off the internet and insurance issues.

Stephanie Caballero said...

Theresa,

You know, I wanted to say to that surrogate: "Really? You're kidding me, right?!?" The scary part was she was not. She thought nothing of working independently without legal representation and defrauding the state, putting her and her entire family at risk.

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