Medical Deduction FAQ

What kind of medicines can you deduct?   Any prescription medicine are deductible.  Insulin is also deductible.  Other NON-prescription meds are NOT deductible.
What about medical equipment and supplies?  Prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses are deductible. Other medical equipment such as false teeth, hearing aids, crutches, wheelchairs, and guide dogs for the blind or deaf are deductible.
What about doctor, dentist, hospital, laboratory bills?  All deductible as long as they were paid by the taxpayer and NOT reimbursed!
What about medical insurance premiums?  If the taxpayer paid them out of post-tax income, they are deductible.  (Most people do NOT pay their own insurance bills.  Employer paid premiums are not deductible!)

 More details below:

IMPORTANT:  Medical deduction is limited to amount OVER 7.5% of AGI

A deduction is allowed only for expenses primarily paid for the prevention or alleviation of a physical or mental defect or illness. Medical care expenses include payments for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or treatment affecting any structure or function of the body. These expenses include payments for legal medical services rendered by any medical practitioner and the cost of equipment, supplies, and diagnostic devices used for medical care purposes.

Medical expenses include insurance premiums paid for medical care or qualified long-term care insurance. The deduction for a qualified long-term care insurance policy's premium is limited. If you are self-employed and have a net profit for the year, you may be able to deduct (as an adjustment to income) amounts paid for medical insurance for yourself and your spouse and dependents. You cannot take this deduction for any month in which you eligible to participate in any subsidized health plan maintained by your employer or your spouse's employer. If you do not claim 100 percent of you self-employed health insurance deduction, you can include the remaining premiums with your other medical expenses as an itemized deduction on Form 1040, Schedule A. You may not deduct insurance premiums paid by an employer-sponsored health insurance plan (cafeteria plan) unless the premiums are included in Box 1 of your Form W-2.

Medical expenses may include:

  • Fees paid to doctors, dentists, surgeons, chiropractors, psychiatrists, psychologists, and Christian Science practitioners for medical care expenses
  • Payments for hospital services, qualified long-term care services, nursing services, and laboratory fees including the incidental cost of meals and lodging charged by a hospital or similar institution if your principal reason for being there is to receive medical care
  • Payments for acupuncture treatments or inpatient treatment at a center for alcohol or drug addiction are also deductible medical expenses. You may include amounts you paid for participating in a smoking-cessation program and for drugs prescribed to alleviate nicotine withdrawal
  • The cost of participating in a weight-loss program for a specific disease or diseases, including obesity, diagnosed by a physician. In general, you may not deduct the cost of purchasing diet food items or the cost of health club dues
  • The cost of drugs is deductible only for drugs that require a prescription, except for insulin
  • Admission and transportation to a medical conference relating to the chronic disease of yourself, your spouse, or your dependent (if the costs are primarily for and essential to the medical care). However, you may not deduct the costs for meals and lodging while attending the medical conference
  • The cost of items such as false teeth, prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses, laser eye surgery, hearing aids, crutches, wheelchairs, and guide dogs for the blind or deaf, and
  • Transportation costs primarily for and essential to medical care that qualify as medical expenses. The actual fare for a taxi, bus, train, or ambulance can be deducted. If you use your car for medical transportation, you can deduct actual out-of-pocket expenses such as gas and oil, or you can deduct the standard mileage rate for medical expenses. With either method you may include tolls and parking fees

You may not deduct funeral or burial expenses, over-the-counter medicines, toothpaste, toiletries, cosmetics, a trip or program for the general improvement of your health, or most cosmetic surgery. You may not deduct amounts paid for nicotine gum and nicotine patches, which do not require a prescription