Medical care is very expensive. There are a lot of reasons for this, but the main one is that the technology and chemistry associated with medical development has meant that we human beings are living much longer, and with a higher quality of life than ever before. The corollary to this is that drug companies, medical device manufacturers, medical professionals, and a variety of other folks are spending a tremendous amount of time, energy, education, and money developing the skills and “medical assets” to make our lives better.
Even when an individual has a “co-pay” he or she often has non covered procedures, excess charges above and beyond “usual and customary,” etc.
Insurance premiums themselves are often raised an alarming rate for individuals and companies that experience high claims. And even in a low claim environment, the concept of “risk spreading” means that everybody pays more.
The tax law realizes that medical costs should be deductible if they become too burdensome on the taxpayer. The definition of “burdensome” is subjective, but in order to itemize medical expenses the taxpayer must pay out those that exceed a set percentage of their income. If a taxpayer itemizes their medical expenses they can write off those that are not covered by insurance employer payments, government programs, etc. to the extent they exceed 10% of the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income (AGI), or, if the taxpayer is 65 or older by the end of the tax year, 7.5% of AGI.
To be considered “qualified” medical expenses, the payment of medical costs must be for disease prevention, treatment, medication, diagnosis, or cure for anything that affects a part of your body.
This deduction is allowed for the taxpayer, spouse, children or any other dependent.
Select Examples of Deductible Medical Expenses
Doctor services such as: a physical exam, chiropractic service, dermatological service, dental service, gynecological exams, neurological exams, etc. are all considered deductible medical expenses.
Dental services such as cleanings, x-rays, surgery, gum treatment, orthodontia, artificial teeth, and tooth extraction are all examples of deductible medical expenses.
Equipment and supplies such as back supports, blood sugar kits, artificial limbs, artificial eyes, braces, crutches, contact lenses, eyeglasses, hearing aids, etc. are all considered deductible medical expenses.
Any modifications made for the home such as air-conditioners for relief of asthma or allergies, elevators, lead-based paint removal, ramps for wheelchairs, a swimming pool for medical reasons, etc. are all deductible medical expenses.
Medicine and drugs including birth control pills, and Viagra if they are medically prescribed are deductible medical expenses
Treatment programs are deductible, as are medical tests and other related costs.
Finally, travel to see a physician, or travel to a hospital or other treatment center, as well as costs for conferences on an illness or condition that affects you, your spouse, or dependents, including the cost of admission, fees and travel costs are all deductible medical expenses.
Also lodging costs such as hotels etc. are deductible up to $50 per night, or $100 per night if the taxpayer or spouse is traveling with a sick child.