Insurers Mandated to Cover Surrogacy Expenses to Aid Families Facing Medical Challenges in India

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In a significant development, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has directed all insurance companies to adhere to the Surrogacy Act of 2012 and the recently enacted Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Act of 2021. This directive aims to ensure that health insurance policies now encompass the expenses related to surrogacy for families who, due to medical conditions, are unable to conceive and start a family on their own. The move has been widely applauded by experts in the field, hailing it as a crucial step towards providing comprehensive support to individuals and families struggling with infertility issues. By extending insurance coverage to surrogacy, these families will now have access to the necessary medical care required to fulfill their dream of having children. Bhaskar Nerurkar, Head of the Health Administration Team at Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, expressed his enthusiasm for the new directive, emphasizing its significance in the face of advancing medical technologies. Nerurkar stated, “Surrogacy is a medical option for those families or individuals who, due to medical conditions, are unable to conceive on their own and are unable to start a family.

The circular by IRDAI is a welcome move to provide cover for such families and truly fulfill their dream of having children, especially now with medical advancement in the domain. This inclusive step will provide these individuals access to quality medical care.”According to Section 4(iii)(a)(III) of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2021, insurers are required to provide coverage to the surrogate mother for a duration of thirty-six months, encompassing postpartum delivery complications. The coverage must be offered by an insurance company or agent recognized by the IRDAI. Additionally, Rule 5 of the Surrogacy (Regulation) Rules, 2022 mandates that the intended woman or couple must purchase a general health insurance policy in favor of the surrogate mother for thirty-six months, covering all pregnancy-related expenses, including post-partum complications.

Furthermore, Section 22(1)(b) of the ART Act, 2021 states that the commissioning couple or woman must provide insurance coverage for the oocyte donor for a period of twelve months, as prescribed by the IRDAI. This landmark decision by the IRDAI ensures that suitable insurance products will be made available to cater to the needs of individuals and families seeking surrogacy as a viable option for starting a family. The directive, effective immediately, brings hope and relief to those facing medical challenges on their path to parenthood.

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