One of the benefits of an FSA is that you can use it for preventive treatments. But there are some healthcare needs that aren't easily classified as either health maintenance or preventative care, which makes it difficult to know whether they're eligible.
This "gray area" includes procedures like fertility treatments, which aren't covered under most standard 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 FSA.
Fertility 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 qualified 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
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 medications such as follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which help ovaries produce more eggs
The cost for temporary storage of eggs or sperm
FSA reimbursement for these treatments and services may require specific documentation 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.
There are the major treatments and procedures that your FSA will cover to correct fertility issues preventing you from having a child.
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.
The IRS doesn't specifically include fertility testing under the umbrella of medical procedures, but many FSAs 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.
Fertility expenses that aren't covered by your FSA
Although your FSA will reimburse you for many major types of fertility treatments and procedures, it won't cover any expenses you incur if you use a surrogate for the IVF procedure as your surrogate would not be a qualified dependent under your plan.
And any expenses related to the long-term storage (greater than one year) of eggs and sperm are not considered part of an immediate medical need to conceive, and also aren't covered under your FSA.
But if you are struggling with fertility issues, your tax-free funds let you pay 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, and 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 Answeredcolumn, 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.