Is Egg Freezing Tax Deductible?
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.
Simmone Taitt on Egg Freezing Journey after an Endometriosis Diagnosis
Simmone Taitt, Founder and CEO of Poppyseed Health, is no stranger to reproductive health. In an interview with Cofertility, Simmone opens up about her embryo freezing experience. She shares her motivations, challenges, and the rewards she discovered along the way, providing invaluable insights for those considering this transformative path.
Eggs vs embryos
"I decided to create embryos with my partner because I was undergoing surgery for stage four endometriosis," Simmone explains. "There was a chance that I was going to lose one of my ovaries, and we wanted to preserve our options as much as possible while also addressing the endo." Unfortunately, she did lose her left ovary and fallopian tube, making the decision to create embryos even more significant.
Simmone froze her eggs at the age of 37, retrieving a total of 11 eggs. "I was 37 years old when I retrieved my eggs and we got 11 eggs," she shares. "The ovary that I ended up losing only produced 2 eggs while the other produced 9 eggs." Despite the challenges she faced, Simmone's determination remained unwavering.
Reflections on the process
Reflecting on the egg freezing process, Simmone shares, "The process was way more time consuming than I anticipated." She explains the rigorous routine of blood tests every other day for nearly two weeks and intravaginal sonograms during every visit. Simmone's experience was further complicated by the side effects of the stimulation medication due to her endometriosis. "It was tough on my body. I gained 10 pounds during the stimulation period and was very bloated," she reveals. However, the reward of creating embryos outweighed the difficulties she encountered.
For Simmone, the hardest part of the process came after the retrieval. "About four weeks after my first embryo transfer, I ended up in the hospital with a swollen arm," she recalls. "It turned out that I had a deep vein thrombosis (DVT)." This setback disrupted her plans for additional embryo transfers. Despite the challenges, Simmone's spirit remains unbroken.
Picking a fertility clinic
When it came to choosing a fertility clinic and medical professional, Simmone had specific criteria in mind. "I specifically wanted an REI who had experience with medically complex patients with inflammatory diseases," she explains. After consulting with various specialists, Simmone selected an REI whom she felt comfortable and safe with. Although her own journey has not resulted in a successful pregnancy (yet), she referred two friends to the same REI, both of whom had successful first transfers and babies. Simmone emphasizes that each person's body is different and outcomes aren't guaranteed.
Simmone acknowledges the impact of the egg freezing process on her personal and professional life. "Thankfully, I was able to go in for my monitoring hours first thing in the morning, which was the most convenient for my schedule," she shares. However, she also highlights the significant cost involved. "The cost is astronomical," she reveals. While her partner's company covered one round of egg retrievals, Simmone and her partner had to use their savings, around $5,000 to $6,000, to cover the expenses of medication and other aspects of the cycle.
The emotional and psychological aspects of egg freezing
Managing the emotional and psychological aspects of egg freezing presented its own challenges for Simmone. "I had a lot of friends who [have done IVF]. The process is similar, so I had a lot of knowledge going into it, but it was still emotionally tough for me," she admits. Simmone relied on her partner, family, and friends for support. The hormonal effects of the medications heightened her emotions and made her feel tender and vulnerable during that time.
Looking back on her egg freezing experience, Simmone reflects on the need for better awareness of the possible side effects. "I think we commercialize the egg freezing process and IVF to be 'easy' and 'accessible' and 'simple'," she states. Simmone wishes she had been more informed about the potential challenges involved and emphasizes the importance of a realistic understanding of the procedures.
Advice for others
Offering advice to those considering freezing their eggs, Simmone encourages open conversation and seeking support. "It's important to talk to people who have been through the process and get the real stories," she suggests. Simmone emphasizes the deeply personal nature of the decision and underscores the need for support, guidance, and empathy throughout the journey.
Simmone Taitt's story is one of resilience, hope, and empowerment. Her decision to freeze her eggs was driven by a desire to preserve her fertility amidst health challenges. Despite the obstacles she faced, Simmone's unwavering spirit and determination propelled her forward. Her experience serves as a reminder that while the road may be challenging, there is strength in preserving options and embracing the possibilities that lie ahead.
How Rachel Liverman Crane Overcame Medical Anxiety to Freeze Her Eggs
Rachel Liverman Crane is the Founder & CEO of the East Coast skincare facial concept Glow Bar. Yet, her dynamic life doesn't end with her professional achievements; she's also taken a bold step in her personal life by freezing her eggs — a journey made even more remarkable by overcoming medical anxiety, a common fear that affects many people facing medical procedures.
Medical anxiety is more than a fleeting concern; it's a genuine fear that can hinder individuals from pursuing necessary or elective medical treatments. In Rachel's case, it was a hurdle she had to conquer on her path to securing future family planning options.
Her journey reflects a blend of determination, pragmatism, and an unwavering belief in one's self, sending a strong message to others about the power of informed choices and the beauty of self-confidence. By bravely facing her fears, Rachel serves as an inspiration to others who may be on the fence about egg freezing. Whether it's expanding a skincare brand or planning for a future family, she navigates life with grace, wisdom, and a touch of humor, embodying the future's endless possibilities.
In a candid interview with us, Rachel shares this journey, opening up about her experience with egg freezing and how she overcame the anxiety that often accompanies medical decisions.
Deciding to freeze
At the age of 35, while single and deeply focused on growing her business, Rachel made the decision to freeze her eggs. Recognizing that she wouldn't be having children in the immediate future, she saw this as a way to retain her focus on her career without the looming pressure of biological timing. "I figured I would freeze my eggs so my focus could remain on my career and not have the pressure of having kids feel so strong."
The process resulted in a "lucky dozen" of 12 eggs, with nine being frozen. Her AMH was 1.81, and she candidly shares her experience, describing herself as an "open book."
Embracing the process even with medical anxiety
“But in the end”, she says, “it was so simple and my doctor and his team took such great care of me the entire way.”
Having seen friends go through it, she knew what to expect, although the physical discomfort and bloating after retrieval did surprise her. “The thing that surprised me the most was how bloated and uncomfortable that would feel after the retrieval process.”
What stands out, however, is the empowerment and strength she felt after going through this elective procedure, particularly given her medical anxiety. "I was really proud of myself for doing something that scared me for my future self!"
Rachel, we’re proud of you too!
Facing the hard parts head-on
The journey wasn't without its challenges. The financial burden was a difficult aspect for her. As a startup founder, making such a significant investment had a real impact. Still, the sacrifice was worth it, even if it meant missing events like close friends' weddings abroad. "I don't have any regrets," she asserts.
Read more about paying for egg freezing:
Choosing Dr. Joshua Stewart at Dr. Joshua Stewart at Cornell for the procedure, she feels the decision has had a profoundly positive effect on her professional life. It allowed her to prioritize her career, team, and business without sacrificing personal aspirations.
Looking back and looking ahead
Looking back, the only thing she might have done differently is to take supplements or seek acupuncture to support her eggs. Yet, she considers the freezing of her eggs as part of her journey, jokingly referring to them as her "insurance plan" and the possibility of thawing these "cuties" to make babies if and when needed.
Rachel says that her relationships and dating life remained unaffected. Freezing her eggs just became "another part of me," not altering her approach to dating or personal relationships.
Advice for others
Her advice for others considering this path is wise and considerate. She urges people to talk to others who have undergone the process, ask questions, advocate for themselves, and not to push themselves if it doesn't feel right.
"Don't feel pressure to do this if it doesn't feel right for you. It's a serious and expensive procedure, so make sure that this is something that you really care about and feel is right for you and where you are today.” We couldn’t agree more!