It’s no secret that plastic surgery is a major investment that requires a good amount of financial planning and forethought. Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA’s) are benefits that many employers offer to their employees to help them lessen the load of medical expenses by setting aside money from employees’ salaries. For instance, an employee who has a take-home income of $75,000 a year can choose to put aside $1,000 per month for their FSA, effectively reducing their taxable income to just $63,000 a year. As a result, only the $63,000 can be taxed for FICA and Medicare.
Patients at The Eisemann Plastic Surgery Center often ask us whether they can use their FSA’s towards the cost of a plastic surgery procedure, such as liposuction or a tummy tuck. Unfortunately, this is not impossible. The Internal Revenue Service differentiates between procedures that are designed to address issues that are cosmetic or functional in nature. IRS regulations stipulate that FSA’s can only be used to offset the cost of a plastic surgery procedure that is designed to:
- Treat congenital (birth) defects
- Address issues related to a chronic disease
- Achieve a medical reconstruction following some type of accident
For example, patients are not allowed to use these funds to cover something like a breast lift procedure or a facelift, but they could use it on a reconstructive nose surgery following a car accident. That said, there are other ways that patients can use their FSA’s to cover part of their surgical costs. For example, FSA funds can sometimes be used to cover the costs of post-surgical compression garments or prescription medications.
Other options for financing plastic surgery may also be available to patients through Care Credit or another lender. Some applicants may be able to secure a no-interest financing plan if they pay for the procedure in full within the time period set by an offered promotion.
What is the takeaway?
While FSA’s are a great resource that enable employees to get the care they need at a reasonable cost, unfortunately, they cannot be applied to cosmetic procedures. That said, there are other applications for FSA’s, including covering the cost of items that are essential to one’s recovery (compression garments and prescription medications). Patients who are looking for ways to finance their treatments can still depend on other programs, such as Credit Care or other lenders.
Reach out to us to set up a private consultation and learn about financing options.