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Do Flex Spending Accounts (FSAs) Cover Infertility Treatment?

By Sonja Kristiansen, MD on July 16, 2014

Mother and child outdoorsDr. Sonja Kristiansen of Houston Fertility Center knows that the cost of effective fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) can be a hurdle for many prospective patients. This is why we accept various payment options for the convenience of patients. One payment option that has been coming up a lot online and in the office is flexible spending accounts (FSAs). Let's look at FSAs in a bit more detail right now.

About FSAs

An FSA is a tax-advantaged program that a person can set up through his or her employer. Money is set aside in the account to be used to pay for eligible medical and dental expenses. This gives patients flexibility when it comes to paying for various procedures.

How do FSAs work?

Sign ups for FSAs usually begin before the new year in order to take affect in the new year. Employees must be attentive about sign up periods as there are very limited situations in which a late sign up will be allowed.

Part of the employee's wages are taken out of each paycheck before taxes are deducted and set aside in the reimbursement account. After undergoing medical treatment, the necessary documentation is given to the FSA provider so that the patient can be reimbursed from the account.

Are fertility treatments approved for coverage by an FSA?

Yes, but there are limitations and restrictions.

FSAs will cover the cost of in vitro fertilization (IVF), egg donation, the use of fertility medications, sperm donation, and other matters related to general fertility treatment.

That said, FSAs will NOT cover surrogate carriers or embryo freezing and storage. If you have any questions about coverage, it's important that you get in touch with your provider directly for more information.

Advantages of Using FSAs

FSAs make a convenient option for people who expect to undergo a medical or dental procedure of some kind. The FSA account will reduce the amount of a patient's income, which means that he or she will owe a little less in taxes thanks to the FSA account. If planned right and used properly, an FSA could make for a relatively nice amount of savings each year while allowing a person to get the care that he or she needs.

Potential Disadvantages of FSAs

FSAs have an annual cap of $2,500, and sometimes unused money from the year will not transfer over to the next. This can vary from FSA provider to FSA provider, so it's important to keep these matters in mind.

In addition, FSAs will not forward money prior to a procedure to cover the cost. It can only be used for reimbursements, so patients need to have the funds available on their own to pay for a procedure rather than relying on the amount available in the FSA account alone.

Other Options for Payment to Consider

If an FSA does not sound like an ideal option for you, there are plenty of other payment options that may be better suited to you and your needs. Monthly financing, for instance, will work like a traditional loan with a third-party lender covering the cost of care. The total cost of fertility treatment will then be broken into a series of affordable monthly payments with a reasonable interest rate applied to the amount.

During your visit, we will be more than happy to cover all of your options for payment and treatment so that you can make a smart decision about starting the family you want.

Learn More About Your Fertility Treatment Options

For more information about flex spending accounts and your many other payment options for fertility treatments, it's important that you contact our infertility treatment center today. By visiting Houston Fertility Center, you'll be able to learn more about all facets of treatment so you can make well-informed choices about the care you undergo.

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