There are many factors to take into account when considering infertility treatment. Couples must identify the causes of infertility, compare their treatment options, and weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks of treatment. Unfortunately, the expenses of a given procedure can also play a significant role in whether couples seek treatment, especially if patients anticipate more than one attempt. At our Houston fertility clinic, we do not want the cost of treatment to deter any potential parents from achieving their dreams of an ideal family. We therefore encourage our prospective patients to consider multiple financial options, including the often overlooked option of flex spending.
A flexible spending account, or FSA, is an effective way to offset the initial costs of an elective medical procedure. If you plan on undergoing any type of infertility treatment, consider how an FSA can increase its affordability.
What Is an FSA?
A flex spending account is generally offered to full-time employees in the United States, usually in occupations that also offer traditional health care benefits. An FSA is a non-taxable fund that you can set up with your employer, with a pre-designated amount of money to set aside from each paycheck. By contributing to this fund throughout the year, you are able to keep more of your gross earnings by not subjecting them to taxes, effectively increasing your income.
The trade-off to an FSA is its narrow stipulations: the money must be spent by the end of the year, and it can only be spent on a select number of goods or services. Typically, these services are medical in nature, making an FSA a perfect way to lower the cost of an elective medical procedure, provided the employee thinks ahead and plans accordingly.
Which Treatment Is Covered by an FSA?
Nearly all infertility visits and treatments can be at least partially covered via an FSA. This includes treatment for patients who own the FSA, their spouses, and even their dependents. Still, it is a good idea to check with your employer and your doctor before relying on any form of insurance or FSA. By maintaining open communication with all parties, you can ensure that your anticipated treatment will in fact be covered.
How Much Can an FSA Save on Expenses?
As of 2013, employees may contribute up to $2,500 per year to their FSAs. This means that a total of $2,500 may be contributed toward your infertility treatment, once per year. Depending on your tax bracket, this can equate to anywhere from $375 to nearly $800 in savings. Although this may not be enough to cover the full expenses of treatment, it can drastically reduce the initial costs and help you obtain a better financing plan over the next few months or years. Even in the rare event your treatment is covered by insurance, an FSA can be used to cover the remaining copay, deductible, or coinsurance costs.
What about Insurance?
In most areas, infertility treatments are not covered by insurance plans. This can be discouraging to hopeful couples, but is all the more reason to plan ahead and begin saving through an FSA. Still, there are exceptions. In Texas, some couples may be able to gain coverage for in vitro fertilization (IVF) as long as they meet the right criteria and provide the proper documentation. Criteria include a documented history of infertility lasting at least five years prior, as well as proof of an underlying medical condition. These stipulations can obviously be prohibitive for new patients or those seeking fertility treatment in the very near future. Therefore, it is a good idea to start planning your FSA if you anticipate any visits or treatment at our fertility clinic within the year.
Learn More about Your Financial Options
Our doctors and fertility professionals are here to help you understand every facet of your desired treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about the costs of our procedures, call or email our office to gain a better idea of how you can most easily and comfortably afford treatment.