In a welcoming move, the Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has ordered all insurance companies in India to cover surrogacy costs under health insurance plans. The insurance regulator has asked all insurers to offer surrogacy cover from immediate effect.
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As per the latest circular, the IRDAI has directed all health insurance providers in India to comply with the Surrogacy Act, 2012 and Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Act, 2021, with immediate effect. The move is expected to cover the surrogacy expenses of individuals and families who cannot conceive or start a family due to medical conditions.
The insurance regulator has also directed the insurers to ensure the availability of suitable health insurance products to offer coverage for surrogacy expenses.
As per Section 4 (iii)(a)(III) of the Surrogacy Act, 2021, the surrogate mother is entitled to an insurance cover for an amount covering post-partum delivery complications for a period of 36 months from an IRDAI-recognized insurer or agent.
According to Rule 5 of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Rules, 2022, the intending couple or woman should buy health insurance for the surrogate mother for a period of 36 months from an IRDAI-recognized insurer or agent for an amount that sufficiently covers the cost of all pregnancy-related expenses and post-partum delivery complications.
Moreover, Section 22(1)(b) of the ART Act, 2021 also prescribes an insurance coverage of 12 months to the oocyte donor by the commissioning woman or couple from an IRDAI-recognized insurer or agent.
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