Qualified medical expenses that were paid during the year for the taxpayer, their spouse and their dependents are deductible on Schedule A to the extent that they were not reimbursed.
Medical Expenses AGI Limit
For 2017 and 2018 only, taxpayers can deduct on Schedule A (Form 1040) the amount of their medical and dental expenses that exceeds 7.5% of their AGI (adjusted gross income). After 2018, the deduction can be taken on expenses that exceed 10% of the taxpayer's AGI.
List of Qualified Medical Expenses
For a complete list, see IRS Publication 502.
Click here for a partial list of qualified medical expenses.
- Air conditioner necessary for relief from allergies or other respiratory problems (less any increase in the value of your home resulting from installation of air conditioning)
- Alcoholism treatment, including inpatient treatment, meals and lodging at a therapeutic center for alcohol addiction
- Artificial limbs
- Artificial teeth
- Birth control pills prescribed by a doctor
- Braille books and magazines used by a visually-impaired person
- A clarinet and lessons to treat the improper alignment of a child's upper and lower teeth
- Contact lenses, including equipment and materials for using contacts
- Cosmetic surgery, if it's necessary to improve a deformity related to a congenital abnormality, accident or disease
- Diet, special. When prescribed by a doctor, you can deduct the extra cost of purchasing special food to alleviate a specific medical condition
- Doctor or physician expenses
- Drug addiction treatment, including in-patient treatment, meals and lodging at a therapeutic center for drug addiction
- Elastic hosiery to treat blood circulation problems
- Exercise program if a doctor has recommended it as treatment for a specific condition
- Extra rent or utilities for a larger apartment required in order to provide space for a nurse/attendant
- Eye surgery, such as Lasik or a similar procedure, when it is not for cosmetic purposes only
- Guide dog or other animal used by a visually-impaired, hearing-impaired or otherwise physically disabled person
- Hospital care
- Household help for nursing care services only
- Insurance premiums for medical care coverage
- Laboratory fees
- Lead-based paint removal, including the cost of removing lead-based paints from surfaces when a child has lead poisoning or was previously diagnosed with lead poisoning. (Does not include the cost of repainting.)
- Legal fees paid to authorize treatment for mental illness
- Lifetime care advance payments
- Lodging expenses while away from home to receive medical care in a hospital or medical facility
- Long-term care insurance and long-term care expenses (there are limitations to what you can deduct)
- Mattresses and boards bought specifically to alleviate an arthritic condition
- Medical aids, including wheelchairs, hearing aids and batteries, eyeglasses, contact lenses, crutches, braces and guide dogs (and their care)
- Medical conference admission costs and travel expenses for a chronically ill person or a parent of a chronically ill child to learn about new medical treatments. (But not the cost of meals and lodging while attending the conference)
- Medicines and drugs
- Nursing care
- Nursing home expenses, including the entire cost of medical care, plus meals and lodging if the main reason for being in the home is to obtain medical care
- Oxygen and oxygen equipment
- Reclining chair bought on a doctor's advice by a person with a cardiac condition
- Special education; tuition for sending a mentally impaired or physically disabled person to a special school that has resources to relieve the disability
- Smoking cessation programs (does not have to be recommended by a physician)
- Swimming (the cost of therapeutic swimming prescribed by a physician)
- Telephone (the cost and repair of special telephone equipment for a hearing-impaired person)
- Television (the cost of equipment used to display the audio part of a TV program for hearing-impaired persons)
- Transplant of an organ (but not hair transplants)
- Transportation costs for obtaining medical care
- Travel expenses for parents visiting their child in a special school for children with drug problems, where the visits are part of the medical treatment
- Weight loss program, if it is recommended by a doctor to treat a specific medical condition or to cure any specific ailment or disease
- Whirlpool baths prescribed by a doctor
- Wig for the mental health of a patient who has lost his or her hair due to a disease
- X-ray services
Insurance premiums paid for policies that cover medical care are deductible. Deductible amounts are amounts paid for medical care policies providing treatment to include:
- Hospitalization, surgical services, X-rays, etc
- Prescription drugs and insulin
- Dental care
- Replacement for lost or damaged contact lenses
- Long-term care, subject to certain limitations. Do not deduct premiums paid through the Premium Tax Credit. If the taxpayer is eligible to claim the Premium Tax Credit, complete Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit (PTC), before completing Schedule A.
Medical and Dental Insurance Premiums
Insurance premiums paid for policies that cover medical care are deductible. Qualified medical care policies provide payment for treatment to include:
• Hospitalization, surgical services, X-rays, etc.
• Prescription drugs and insulin.
• Dental care.
• Replacement for lost or damaged contact lenses.
• Long-term care, subject to certain limitations.
Do not include advance payments made of the Premium Tax Credit. If a taxpayer is eligible to claim the Premium Tax Credit, complete Form 8962 before completing Schedule A.
Do not include insurance premiums that were paid from an employer-sponsored health insurance plan, unless the amount is included in box 1 of the taxpayer's Form W-2.
The deductible amount on Schedule A must be reduced by any self-employed health insurance deduction taken on Schedule 1 (Form 1040).
Hospital Care Including Meals and Lodging
The cost of inpatient care at a hospital or similar facility is deductible. This includes amounts paid for meals and lodging at a hospital or similar facility if receiving medical care is the primary reason for being there.
Lodging outside of a hospital or similar facility is deductible up to $50 per night for the person receiving the medical care and persons travelling with them. No deduction is allowed for meals.
Qualified Long-Term Care Insurance Contracts
The amount paid for qualified long-term care insurance is deductible if the contract meets the following requirements:
• It must be guaranteed renewable,
• It must not provide for a cash surrender value or other money that can be paid, assigned, pledged, or borrowed,
• It must provide that refunds, other than refunds on the death of the insured or complete surrender or cancellation of the contract, and dividends under the contract must be used only to reduce future premiums or increase future benefits, and
• It must not pay or reimburse expenses incurred for services or items that would be reimbursed under Medicare, except where Medicare is a secondary payer, or the contract makes per diem or other periodic payments without regard to expenses.
The amount that can be deducted for long-term care insurance is limited by the age of the taxpayer, spouse or dependent.
||Age 40 or Less
||Age 41 - 50
||Age 51 - 60
||Age 61 - 70
||Age 71 and Over
Medical Standard Mileage Rate
2019 - 20¢ per mile
2018 - 18¢ per mile
2017 - 17¢ per mile
2016 - 19¢ per mile
NOTE: This is a guide on entering Medical and Dental Expenses into the TaxSlayer Pro program. This is not intended as tax advice.