Does my FSA cover cosmetic surgery? (FSA Q&A)
What do breast augmentation, liposuction, tummy tucks, rhinoplasty and eyelid surgery have in common? They are the top five cosmetic surgery procedures among women. And, did you know that almost 1 million cosmetic procedures were performed on men in 2012?
Cosmetic surgery is more popular than you might realize. According to surgery.org in 2012, $11 billion went into total plastic surgery procedures - $6.7 million on surgical procedures and $4.2 million on nonsurgical procedures. Well-known TV shows such as Nip/Tuck accentuate people’s desires to look good (even if the show admittedly has a twisted plot).
FSA Guidelines on Cosmetic Surgery
Because plastic surgery is often not medically necessary, it is not considered an FSA eligible expense. Any changes to appearance without a valid medical reason are therefore not reimbursable.
Does that mean cosmetic surgery is never covered?
No, it depends on the circumstances. As this IRS 2012 Publication shows, cosmetic surgery is eligible if it’s performed to treat a birth defect, a disfiguring disease, or to treat trauma.
For example, breast reconstruction after a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery on the face would be covered.
The following procedures do not qualify as FSA eligible under any circumstance:
- nonsurgical procedures such as hair transplants, hair removal, microdermabrasion, and chemical peels.
- surgical procedures including liposuction, breast augmentation, face lifts, and tummy tucks.
Learn more about FSA eligible expenses via the FSA Learning Center.