As an agency, you are guiding people through the most emotional journeys of their lives. I don’t need to tell you that matching intended parents with their egg donors and or their surrogates requires a lot of skill and compassion. The work you do is extremely meaningful but it’s also very complex. Managing all of the details along with the relationships requires a lot of experience and patience. You and your team are heroes.
Are you unknowingly taking on liability?
When it comes to ART escrow, you are unknowingly taking on liability if you:
- Hold escrow yourself
- Allow intended parents’ attorneys to hold escrow
- Refer to an escrow provider that doesn’t have the expertise or proper bonding in place
In any of these scenarios, you are accepting full liability for any/all of the disbursement requests whether they are approved or denied. If an escrow-related mistake is made, your agency may face costly legal, financial, media relations, and/or operational damages. Any one of those threats may affect your agency’s ability to continue to operate the way it once had.
SeedTrust provides the highest level of protection
So how do you protect your agency from taking on unnecessary liability? It’s actually very easy. The best way to minimize your escrow liability is to refer your intended parents to a third-party provider that:
- Specializes in ART escrow
- Employs accounting and legal experts who fully manage the process
- Accepts all of the escrow liability for processing payments for any/all disbursement requests
- Holds the appropriate amount of insurance and bonding to cover all of the cases it manages at any given time.
SeedTrust Escrow checks all of these boxes and then some. We have dedicated legal, accounting, and customer care specialists that will provide the highest level of care and expertise to all your cases. Our leadership team consists of a CPA, attorney, and banker and therefore there are checks and balances between departments. Our current bond is $40 Million and that protects all of the intended parents who have egg donor and/or surrogacy cases with us. To date, we’ve managed nearly 9,000 cases.
Switching to SeedTrust is simple
Let’s talk about the process of onboarding your clients’ escrow cases to SeedTrust Escrow:
- Step 1: A profile is created for your agency. It only takes a few minutes.
- Step 2: You are assigned a team of dedicated SeedTrust legal managers who will work on all of your cases. You will build a meaningful relationship with that team and they will pay close attention to any/all details related to all of your cases.
- Step 3: You will just email your existing match sheet to [email protected] to set up a new case. One of your dedicated managers will set up the case within 24 business hours.
- Step 4: As soon as the case is set up in the system, one of your dedicated legal managers will reach out to your assigned case manager, the intended parent(s), and the egg donor or surrogate. Your legal manager will walk the intended parent(s) and surrogate through how to access and utilize the platform and even submit disbursement requests if you’d like for them to be able to do so. It’s important to note that egg donors will only log on once to enter their banking information so they may be compensated via direct deposit. They will not access the system beyond the initial set-up.
- Step 5: Your intended parents will be charged a 1-time fee. That fee will be deducted from the initial wire fund. They will never be charged for rematches, wire, or check fees. There will also not be an upcharge at the end of 12 months.
SeedTrust’s HIPAA-compliant platform is easy to navigate
Using the SeedTrust HIPAA-compliant platform is easy and intuitive for you, as well as your intended parents and surrogates.
Let’s take a look at our video demo:
In your dashboard, you may log on and a wide range of escrow details that pertain to the cases you’ve referred to SeedTrust Escrow.
- When you want to get to the main page of your dashboard, all you have to do is click on the “home” icon at the far left top of the page.
- Below that, you will notice there is a link to your dedicated messages. This is a way to communicate 1:1 with your SeedTrust legal managers.
- Intended parents and surrogates will not be able to view the message you send to the SeedTrust legal managers.
- Using this messaging section is much more secure than using email; it is HIPAA-compliant and has the highest level of encryption. Direct email is not as secure and can open up your clients to potential data breaches.
- Your dedicated legal managers spend their time in the platform and therefore if you use it to message them, they will respond much more urgently than they would via email.
- You will notice a link for direct deposit on the left-hand side of your dashboard as well. You may set up direct deposit for your agency in the event that you have paid for expenses related to specific journeys. When you submit a disbursement request for any such expense, SeedTrust will reimburse you via direct deposit. This will save the hassle of having to wait for checks in the mail.
- The request link, when clicked on, reveals all of the requests that have been submitted for all of your related cases.
- The calendar in the left rail reflects all of the scheduled disbursement requests for all of your cases
Let’s drill down into a specific case
- Here is an example of a surrogacy case
- It’s important to mention that the agency view is basically the same as the intended parents’ view.
- The nomenclature we use for naming cases is the last name of the intended mother or one of the intended fathers, then the last name of the other intended parent (if there is one), and last but not least, the last name of the surrogate.
- You will notice that all of the information from the match sheet is provided under case details on the right-hand side of the case near the middle of the page.
- Up near the top, right-hand side, you are able to easily see the ledger balance, the minimum balance that you mandate for your agency or that is mandated by the GSA/direct agreement. The remaining schedule payment balance pertains to the scheduled payment calendar disbursements that were established based on the language of the GSA/direct agreement and begin to be paid out automatically once a fetal heartbeat is established and noted in the system.
- The ledger details are easily accessible, and they may be filtered based on the type, subtype, start, and end date. There are 2 accessible tabs; the first shares all of the transactions and the second provides the details around the scheduled calendar disbursements. You may click on the icon of the eye and drill down into the specifics of each request. This makes it much easier for everyone to have full visibility into disbursement requests. Note that surrogates only have access to the requests that pertain to them specifically. When payments are made to your agency and other providers directly, only you and the intended parents may view those specific disbursements.
- When you scroll to the middle of the page of a case, this is where the submitted disbursement request data is accessible. You can drill down into the specific details when you click on the eyeball to the right-hand side.
- And one of the most important pieces of information is the scheduled payment calendar that is accessible to all of the parties. It may be viewed in a list or calendar view.
How to submit a disbursement request
Disbursement requests only have to be manually entered into the system if they are not disbursed based on a specific time/stage per the language of the GSA/direct agreement. Once the GSA/direct agreement has been uploaded into the system within the case it belongs and a fetal heartbeat is confirmed, scheduled payments like surrogates’ compensation and expenses that follow the language of the contract will automatically be disbursed. You, your intended parents, and your surrogates will be notified 2 business days prior to the surrogate receiving the automatic disbursement.
Agencies and their clients really enjoy this aspect of how we manage escrow. It keeps everyone informed and it alleviates the need to submit for things like monthly compensation or anything else that falls within a stage/time of the pregnancy.
All other disbursements will need to be submitted through the platform. You, the surrogate, or even the intended parents can submit disbursement requests. All of the data is entered in real-time. The process is simple and quick.
Let’s walk through an agency submitting a disbursement request on behalf of the surrogate.
- They start by clicking on this blue button on the right-hand side.
- Then the case manager would click on the appropriate date.
- The next step would be indicating if the surrogate is to be paid for this request or if it should to someone else. We’ll say “yes”.
- Then she will be able to choose items from the drop-down that pertain to her request.
- In this case, she is going to submit for lost wages and childcare as a result of bed rest, and mileage to and from the clinic.
- You will notice that the legal managers have set up the drop-downs to reflect what the GSA has mandated for this case.
- Whoever has entered the disbursement request will have a chance to review it before it is formally submitted.
- Once the submit button is clicked, in this case, because the surrogate is due to be paid, you, the intended parents and the surrogate will be able to immediately see that it has been sent for approval. This makes surrogates feel like their requests are handled efficiently and effectively.
- At this point, the SeedTrust legal managers go to work to ensure that the request meets the language of the contract. If it does not or more information is necessary in order to process it, the legal managers will communicate with the appropriate parties to sort out those details.
- If the disbursement request fits the language of the contract and has supporting documentation like receipts or invoices, it will only take 2 business days to pay the surrogate via direct deposit.
Take back your time!
Aside from minimizing the risks that could negatively impact your business, partnering with SeedTrust Escrow will give you back the time that you had been previously allocating towards escrow tasks. Now, you will be able to focus on all of the other aspects of your agency responsibilities. Some examples include:
- You no longer have to toggle between several different escrow rules/regulations and processes.
- You/your team, your intended parents, and surrogates will gain access to a HIPAA-compliant online platform. The answers to escrow-related questions are available to everyone involved in the match and in real-time. Your phone will ring less and you’ll receive fewer emails about any/all things related to escrow disbursement requests and payments.
- Your team will no longer have to check disbursement requests against the language in each GSA/direct agreement or even the receipts/supporting documentation. Why not? Because SeedTrust Escrow will do so.
- You won’t need to worry about escrow balances falling below the minimum amounts required. Intended Parents will be notified if/when this happens by SeedTrust Escrow and so will you.
- Your surrogates may submit their own disbursement requests if you’d prefer for them to do so. If you submit on behalf of your surrogate, we are your third set of eyes. If your surrogates submit their requests on their own, we are the second set of eyes. Either way, SeedTrust accepts all of the liability for approvals, processing payments, and even denials.
- When the GSA/direct agreement is signed, submitted, and filed in the documents section of the case on the HIPAA-compliant platform and the fetal heartbeat is confirmed, your dedicated SeedTrust legal managers will create a scheduled disbursement calendar that will automatically disburse any/all requests that have been clearly defined in the contract. These would include things like monthly compensation/expenses, insurance premium payments, and all other disbursement requests that are predicated on a date/time per the direct agreement/contract. Everyone involved in the match will have access to the calendar via their computers, tablets, and even their mobile devices.
Join the over 250 agencies that are experiencing the SeedTrust Difference
Everyone at SeedTrust Escrow is extremely passionate about helping your clients-intended parents, surrogates, and egg donors alike feel great about the escrow process. Accepting the liability for every single disbursement request approval and payment means that SeedTrust is going to be vigilant about checking every detail pertaining to those requests. We want your clients to be able to focus on what really matters—growing their families.
We welcome the opportunity to be your dedicated third-party ART Escrow provider.
Please feel free to reach out to Denise Steele at 312-404-6604 or email her at [email protected]