Does Stem Cell Therapy Qualify as a Deductible Medical Expense?

Posted by Lee Reams Sr. on

Medical expenses are the costs of diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, and the costs for treatments affecting any part or function of the body including dental expenses (IRC Sec. 213). Thus it would seem that treatment of an ailment with stem cell therapy would qualify as a medical deduction.

Cord blood contains stem cells that doctors may use to treat disease. Thus, expenses for banking cord blood to treat an existing or imminently probable disease may qualify as deductible medical expenses. However, banking cord blood as a precaution to treat a disease that might possibly develop in the future does not satisfy the existing legal standard that at a minimum a disease must be imminently probable.  There is proposed legislation H.R. 4882 – Family Cord Blood Banking Act, that has been on the table for a couple of years, that if passed would allow a medical deduction for banking stem cell blood for the probability of a future medical need. In the meantime cost of actual therapy treatments would be deductible. (IRS Information Letter 2010-0017)

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