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One of the benefits of a flexible spending account (FSA) is that you can use it for qualified medical expenses, including preventive treatments. But there are some health care expenses that aren't easily classified as either health maintenance or preventative care, which makes it difficult to know whether they qualify as eligible medical expenses.
This "gray area" includes medical services and procedures like fertility treatments, which aren't covered under most standard health insurance plans.
So the question we always hear is, "Are fertility treatments FSA eligible?" The answer is "yes," but there are some exceptions, so it's important to understand what type of fertility treatments are covered, and what type of treatments aren't eligible under your flexible spending account. . If you are asking the question, “Should I get an FSA?”, the answer depends on many factors. One factor weighing in on whether you or a qualified dependent will be receiving fertility-related treatment.
Fertility treatment and FSA eligibility
Healthcare treatments eligible for FSA reimbursement must be services used to diagnose, evaluate, and/or treat injury, illness, disease or symptoms of a disease. While the inability to have a baby doesn't fit neatly into any of these categories, the IRS allows you or your eligible dependents to deduct medical expenses involving fertility in certain circumstances, including:
- In vitro fertilization (IVF), which is a process in which doctors remove eggs from the ovary, fertilize the eggs in a lab, and place the embryos into the uterus
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI), in which sperm is inserted into the uterus and is timed with a woman's ovulation to increase the chances of conception
- Surgery to implant donor eggs and embryos. This also includes any procedure that reverses a prior surgery that prevents a woman from conceiving a child.
- Fertility medication such as follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which help ovaries produce more eggs
- The cost for temporary storage of eggs or sperm
Please note these procedures must be directly attributable to the FSA account-holder or qualified depended. For example, medical expenses for a pregnancy surrogate would not be eligible per the IRS.
FSA reimbursement for these medical services and treatments may require specific documentation from a medical practitioner and not all circumstances will qualify for reimbursement, so you'll want to speak with your FSA administrator to see exactly what you'll need when using your card or submitting your claim for an expense.
There are the major treatments and procedures that your FSA dollars will cover to correct fertility issues preventing you from having a child. And there are some things you should be aware of, especially involving the tests that doctors use to determine appropriate treatments for a woman struggling to conceive.
Many FSA plans allow you to treat fertility tests as diagnostic services similar to those used to treat other types of illnesses and diseases.
Again, it's best to check with your FSA administrator if you have any questions about whether or not a specific fertility treatment is covered under your plan as a qualified medical expense.
Fertility expenses that aren't covered by your FSA dollars
Although your FSA will reimburse you for many major types of fertility treatments and procedures, it won't cover any expenses incurred by a surrogate for the IVF treatment as your surrogate would not be considered one of your eligible dependents under your plan.
And any healthcare expense related to the long-term storage (typically greater than one year) of eggs and sperm are not considered part of an immediate medical need to conceive and would span multiple plan years, and therefore aren't covered under your FSA.
But if you are struggling with fertility issues, your tax-free FSA funds let you cover the cost for many treatments that can help you achieve your dream of having a child. Let your FSA ease your mind so you can focus on a healthy, happy pregnancy. Check out our growing lineup of family planning and fertility products, to make this journey as easy and enjoyable as it can be.
From FSA basics to the most specific account details, in our weekly Asked and Answered column, our team gets to the bottom of your most-pressing flex spending questions. It appears every Wednesday, exclusively on the FSAstore.com Learning Center. And for the latest info about your health and financial wellness, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.