Birthing Coach: FSA Eligibility

Birthing Coach: requires a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) to be eligible with a Flexible Savings Account (FSA)
If necessary for treatment or assistance with a medical condition, a birthing coach may be eligible, provided that a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) is provided as documentation for reimbursement with a flexible spending account (FSA), health savings account (HSA) or a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). Birthing coach reimbursement is not eligible with a limited-purpose flexible spending account (LPFSA) or a dependent care flexible spending account (DCFSA).

What is a birthing coach do?

A birthing coach, also known as a labor coach or a doula, are professionals who are trained in pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum periods to provide emotional, physical and educational support to women before, during and after pregnancy. While birthing coaches can also break down into further specifications, such as pre-/postpartum experts, the most commonly used professional is the labor birthing coach, which can help women have a safe, serene and empowering experience during pregnancy, birth and after the child is born (American Pregnancy Association).

What does a birthing coach do?

Birthing coaches play a variety of roles at each stage of pregnancy, and clinical studies have shown that these professionals can help expecting mothers build a stronger foundation to start life as a new parent. During the first several trimesters, birthing coaches are helpful resources for expecting mothers to answer questions about what to expect down the road, how to develop an effective birth plan and assuaging any lingering fears.

During delivery, birthing coaches are vital sources of knowledge to allow the process to go smoothly. They can provide massage therapy, provide suggestions for potential birthing positions, maintain established breathing techniques, and provide support to both the mother and her partner throughout the entire process. Post-delivery, birthing coaches can be vital in helping mothers through the postpartum period, establishing a relationship with their child, proper breastfeeding techniques and much more.

What are the health benefits of birthing coaches?

In a variety of clinical studies examining the role of birthing coaches during pregnancy, women who received this form of continuous support were less likely to have spontaneous births or to opt for pain medications, epidurals, long labor periods, C-sections and other more invasive methods of delivery. Perhaps most importantly, the vast majority of these women had significantly lower frequencies of negative feelings about their pregnancies or the prospect of childbirth, which can play a major role in reducing delivery complications (Mayo Clinic).

How do I obtain a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) for a birthing coach?

A Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) for a birthing coach may be required to indicate the expense billed and being requested for reimbursement is for eligible medical services. This letter must outline how an account holder's medical condition necessitates the abilities of a birthing coach, how the treatment will be used to alleviate the issue and how long the treatment will last.