Today, more than ever, women are choosing to delay parenthood for various reasons, including focusing on career advancement, establishing financial stability, and finding the right partner. To help with this, many are turning to egg freezing, also known as oocyte cryopreservation. Egg freezing has grown in popularity, with a 46% increase in egg freezing cycles from 2020 to 2021 alone!
If you’re considering egg freezing, you may be wondering: Is egg freezing tax deductible? Let's delve into this topic to provide some much-needed clarity.
The basics of egg freezing
Egg freezing, also known as oocyte cryopreservation, is a procedure where your eggs are extracted, frozen, and stored for later use. Because younger eggs are, on average, healthier, the egg freezing can increase your chances of conceiving a biological child in the future, even as your fertility naturally declines over time.
Despite the positive possibilities it offers, egg freezing is not an inexpensive procedure. The overall cost depends on the clinic you’re going to, where you are located, the medications you are prescribed (it differs based on your age and body), and where/how long you store the eggs. In the US in 2023, on average, the process can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 per cycle, not including annual storage fees. Thus, it's only natural for individuals to explore avenues for financial relief, such as tax deductions.
Understanding medical expense deductions
According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the United States, certain medical expenses are eligible for tax deductions. The IRS's guidelines state that one can deduct medical expenses that exceed 7.5% of one's adjusted gross income for the year. So, if you have a significant amount of qualifying medical expenses in a year, you could potentially benefit from this tax deduction.
Egg freezing and tax deductions
Is egg freezing considered a deductible medical expense? The answer is complex and largely depends on your individual circumstances. As a baseline, the IRS has traditionally considered fertility preservation treatments, like egg freezing, to be tax-deductible only when they are deemed medically necessary. This typically refers to situations where a medical condition or treatment (such as chemotherapy for cancer) could cause infertility.
When it comes to egg freezing for elective, non-medically necessary reasons (such as delaying childbearing for personal reasons), the situation becomes more nuanced. And unfortunately, as of writing this article, the IRS has not issued definitive guidance on whether egg freezing for non-medical reasons qualifies as a tax-deductible medical expense.
Given this ambiguity, if you're considering egg freezing for elective reasons, it's highly recommended to consult with a tax professional. They can provide advice tailored to your specific situation and keep you informed of any changes or updates in tax law.
Employer benefits and HSAs
Another important aspect to consider is employer-provided benefits. Some progressive employers are starting to cover egg freezing as a part of their employee benefits package, in which case the question of tax deduction might be moot.
If you have a Health Savings Account (HSA) or a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you might be able to use these pre-tax dollars to pay for egg freezing. However, the rules surrounding these accounts are complex and constantly evolving, so you’ll want to check with your plan administrator or a tax professional to ensure that this is a viable option for you.
Freeze your eggs for less – or even for free – with Cofertility
Cofertility is a human-first, tech-enabled fertility ecosystem that provides people agency over if, how, and when they have babies — today or someday. We have two programs for egg freezers:
- Our Split program offers women a chance to freeze their eggs for free when donating half of the eggs retrieved to a family who cannot otherwise conceive. If you qualify for the program and decide to donate half of your retrieved eggs, every expense associated with the egg freezing procedure — medications, supplements, travel if necessary, insurance, and 10 years of storage — are completely free of charge. We don’t even need a payment or credit card up front, as the family you match with covers all the expenses.
- Our self-pay Keep program allows women to freeze their eggs and keep them all for their future use. Through Keep, we offer our members partnerships and discounts to lighten the financial load of egg freezing, as well as access to our member community. An important note: even if you do have insurance or benefits coverage through work, you’re still able to participate in the Keep program. We’ll work with you to make sure all of your care is handled in a way that you remain eligible for the associated benefits.
The benefits of working with Cofertility include:
- Power of choice: Freeze your eggs more affordably or, if you qualify, freeze for free when you give half to a family who can’t otherwise conceive.
- Community: Our inclusive online spaces allow you to connect with others going through the process in our private online community.
- Compassion: We’ll always treat you with care, and our Split program gives you the opportunity to make someone’s family building dreams a reality.
- Data-driven: We provide you with trustworthy guidance and evidence-based research so you can make informed decisions about your fertility.
- Free egg freezing: Freeze and store your eggs for 10 years, entirely for free if you qualify for our Split program.
Ready to learn about more affordable (even free!) egg freezing with Cofertility? Fill out this quick quiz to learn about our accessible egg freezing options and see if you qualify for our programs — it only takes one minute.
Summing it up
Egg freezing is an empowering choice for those who want to preserve their eggs for future use. However, its high cost can be a barrier. While certain tax deductions may apply for medically necessary procedures, the applicability of tax deductions for elective egg freezing is less clear. You’ll want to seek personalized advice from a tax professional to understand your options fully.
In the quest to make egg freezing more accessible, every avenue of financial relief counts. As the conversation surrounding egg freezing continues to evolve, so too may the tax implications. It’s an ever-changing landscape that we’ll be keeping a close eye on moving forward.