Medical Expense Tax Deduction Status Update

The Senate released its version of the tax reform package late last week. The Senate proposal would keep the medical expense deduction for millions of Americans with high medical costs. ElevatingHOME joined other advocacy organizations in requesting that the medical expense tax deduction not be included in the Congressional tax reform efforts.

The proposed House Republican tax bill would eliminate the ability for individuals to deduct qualified medical expenses, a provision that could have major implications for households with extremely high health care costs. Under current law, the IRS allows individuals to deduct qualified medical expenses that exceed 10 percent of an individual’s adjusted gross income for the year. The bill would repeal that itemized deduction, effective in 2018. The cost to repeal the medical expense deduction is approximately $10 billion per year.

The IRS currently allows individuals to deduct preventative care, treatment, surgeries, dental, and vision care as qualifying medical expenses. The medical expense deduction is commonly used by patients or their families to deduct long term services and supports, including private pay home care and respite for chronically ill patients. The repeal of this provision could impact both patients and their families, who often help pay for care. Please contact Joy Cameron with any questions.

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