Medical
 Expenses



Health Savings Accounts

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), allow families of all ages and incomes to pay for their health, dental and vision care expenses with "pretax dollars." But they are not a good deal for everyone.

First, the family members should be fairly healthy, requiring few doctor visits or meds on an ongoing basis. Therefore, families with infants should stick with a traditional plan that offers doctor visit and prescription copays that are absent in high deductible health insurance plans.

Second, you must be able to afford the risk of higher medical expenses for about a year and a half until you have enough money in your health savings account.

The most important factor is that you must be a disciplined saver.  It is recommends automatic maximum contributions into an HSA, at least until there is enough in the account to cover your insurance plan's deductible.

If you aren't a saver, then don't bother with a HSA and high deductible health plan

No one health insurance plan fits all. But for healthy families, and especially older adults, HSAs are a great way to save on health insurance premiums and on taxes.  The older you are, the more you can save with one of these plans.  The only way people in their fifties and sixties they can afford quality health insurance.

What medical expenses can you claim?

Total medical care expenses for the year must exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income, to be claimable!!  If they are less than 7.5% they are not claimable. 

Medical expenses include insurance premiums paid for accident and health or qualified long-term care insurance. You may not deduct insurance premiums for life insurance, for policies providing for loss of wages because of illness or injury, or policies that pay you a guaranteed amount each week for a sickness. In addition, the deduction for a qualified long–term care insurance policy's premium is limited.

You may not deduct insurance premiums paid by an employer–sponsored health insurance plan (cafeteria plan)

When you have medical expenses, you may include in medical expenses the incidental cost of meals and lodging charged by the hospital or similar institution if your main reason for being there is to receive medical care.

You can only include the medical expenses you paid during the year, regardless of when the services were provided. Your total medical expenses for the year must be reduced by any reimbursement. It makes no difference if you receive the reimbursement or if it is paid directly to the doctor or hospital.

You may include qualified medical expenses you pay for yourself, your spouse, and your dependents, including a person you claim as a dependent under a multiple support agreement. If either parent claims a child as a dependent under the rules for divorced or separated parents, each parent may deduct the medical expenses he or she actually pays for the child. You can also deduct medical expenses you paid for someone who would have qualified as your dependent except that the person didn't meet the gross income or joint return test.

If you are self–employed and have a net profit for the year, or if you are a partner in a partnership or a shareholder in an S corporation, you may be able to deduct, as an adjustment to income, 100% of the amount you pay for medical insurance for yourself and your spouse and dependents. You can include the remaining premiums with your other medical expenses as an itemized deduction. You cannot take the special 100% deduction for any month in which you are eligible to participate in any subsidized health plan maintained by your employer or your spouse's employer.

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