Reading back over my old blog posts I was reminded that with surro journey #2 I decided to try and write weekly updates from early on in the process so that I would have posts to read in the future. I loved (and still love) going back through my old posts and following along with the matching, clearances, IVF cycles, pregnancies, and deliveries. With that in mind I’m going to continue to try and do a post a week even if there isn’t much to update on. Then if we hopefully end this next journey with another healthy baby and GC I can follow along again and remember the ups and downs.
This week will be a week that I don’t really have an update. I think my last post mentioned that the contact at the insurance review place said she was going to send in completed review to the agency last Thursday. I emailed the surro coordinator at the agency on Monday to make sure that I didn’t need to be doing anything this week (I don’t want people having to wait on me!). She said that there wasn’t anything for me to do. She said that they were wrapping up my preapproval and once that is complete they will move us back to our awesome case manager and we’ll start the next steps. She didn’t elaborate on what specifically would be the next step. Medical clearance with the clinic maybe? Or psych evals? I think they did psych first the last two times so probably that.
I’m feeling pretty excited to be moving along, but not in a rush like last time. Last time I was trying to make sure we would have time for an Aug/Sept transfer so the timeline was tighter. So when the matching process took longer it was frustrating and I annoyed the surro coordinator with messages wondering what was going on. This time we don’t have that pressure so I’m not feeling the rush to get things done. I mean would I love to get things going? Absolutely! My coworker is going on maternity leave any day (minute?) so I will be working more and we have a busy summer planned so fitting in appointments and a trip for med clearance to Portland may be a little more complicated. We’ll make it work of course, but I’d love to be able to start making some sort of plans/appointments so they don’t end up booked out further than we would like.
Patience is the name of the game!
Yesterday a company called ArtRisk who specializes in dealing with insurance stuff with surrogacy situations, conducted a review of my insurance. They call the insurance then conference me into the call so I can give the insurance company the okay to give the ArtRisk representative information about my benefits.
The ArtRisk rep said that she would send the review to our agency on Thursday (so the day after tomorrow). When I inquired with my insurance about maternity coverage when acting as a GC they told me (through message so I have it in writing lol) that I would be covered and there is no surrogacy exclusion. I’m very interested to know if they told ArtRisk the same thing. It would be really great if my insurance could be used this go around. It would save IFs from having to purchase a separate insurance policy. We will have to wait and see. I have heard that a lot of times, even when the insurance says they will cover it, that ArtRisk will suggest a back up policy just in case. I assume this is to cover their behinds as they don’t want to say it’s covered only to have it denied later.
So that was another thing that was able to be checked off the to list. I don’t know what will come after that. I know the IFs have been in contact with the fertility clinic, but the clinic doesn’t want to move forward with anything until we’re officially “matched” by the agency. I think that just means that the agency reaches out to the clinic and sends my records for review. We will have to wait and see.
Not a lot to report on at the moment. I’ve been gathering the documents that the agency needs to get things going. My husband and I both had forms that needed electronic signing as well.
The things that the agency needed to get started were
▪ Electronically signed HIPAA forms for my husband and I (this basically gives the agency the OK to gather any pertinent medical records to review and send them to the fertility clinic. I already sent them my records to save them some time though)
▪ Electronically signed GC Agreement (this covers my responsibilities as a potential GC. I have to initial sections saying that I will update the agency and IPs if anything changes with my health, employment, insurance benefits, etc. I have to agree that I understand the agency is the legal representative of the IPs and I will have my own lawyer. I agreed to fill out all forms promptly. There were other sections as well, but I don’t remember them off hand.)
▪ Pay stubs for my husband and I. (This allows them to calculate lost wages for time off for medical screening, transfer, post partum, and if any bed rest is needed)
▪ A copy of our insurance benefit book to review for any exclusions of a GC pregnancy (This should have been super easy to track down, but it was kinds of a pain. Usually you can access this on your insurance’s website, but ours said to log into my husband’s employer’s website. So he had to create a login only to find that it’s not a document that is available on that website either. I called their member benefit number, but they wouldn’t talk to me because I’m not the employee. My husband called and asked for it and they gave him the run around about it. They gave him excuses why they don’t give it out. He ended up emailing his company HR department who was able to email the whole document. Now that the agency has it they will review it for any exclusions that would mean they won’t cover a GC pregnancy. I looked it over and didn’t see any mention of an exclusion, but I’m not a professional 😆 If they don’t see anything obvious they will send it to a company who specializes in insurance reviews who will call my insurance, patch me into the call to give the insurance company the okay to talk to them, then the company will ask very specific questions about my coverage. If they determine that my insurance will cover a surrogacy pregnancy then that is great news because it means the IFs don’t need to pay for an additional plan which can be expensive, so fingers crossed! If they determine it won’t cover a GC pregnancy then we know that come open enrollment in the fall we will need to find a surro friendly plan…our healthcare system is soooo ridiculous🙄 )
I think that’s all the documents I’ve sent to them so far. I had already sent them my medical records last week so they have those.
Now I’m just waiting to hear what my next step is!
Today I had a quick phone call with the gestational carrier intake manager at my agency. Fun fact: she was actually the coordinator for my first journey. She’s awesome and I love her 🙂
We just went over a few informational things. She let me know that I would need to fill out and submit a new application with the agency. This is super easy to do so no big deal. She said she would need my OB and hospital records from my last pregnancy/delivery. I already went about getting not only these, but the records from my last 3 pregnancies/deliveries. My OB switched offices after my oldest was born and his pregnancy/delivery records disappeared and I’ve never been able to recover them. Fortunately I don’t need them. I emailed them to her today and she will send them to the fertility clinic for review at some point. She’ll need some signed HIPAA forms from my husband and I. They will also do a review of my current insurance to see if it will cover a surrogacy pregnancy. She said that IFs were going through some intake steps as well and that she thought we would be working with the initial intake people for a couple months before we get moved back to our previous coordinators care.
She said that she would start sending me emails “soonish” with things that she needs, but it didn’t sound like it was going to be anytime this week or next. Because we all know that we’re not transferring until the end of the year or beginning of next year she’s not in a particular hurry to get our stuff done. I know she is incredibly busy and I’m sure has a lot of items on her to do list that would take priority over our stuff because we’re not on a tight timeline. I’m not typically a patient person so it’s good practice LOL It enforces that getting things going now is a good decision though.
So no major movement forward, but baby steps in that direction! For some reason spring time always makes me miss being pregnant so I’ve been anxious to get started…I know I have to stick to my timeline though because my body needs it, but that doesn’t mean I’m not super excited to be moving forward now 🙂