Tax Guide

Get answers to all your questions about taxes, personal finance, insurance and more.

Health Insurance and Life Insurance

Many know from experience that medical expenses can easily overwhelm even the best financial plans. Whether it's a quick ER visit with only modest charges, or a serious or chronic condition, going to the doctor can wreck your bank account.

Luckily, Uncle Sam provides a few tax breaks to cushion the blow:

  • The medical expense deduction lets you recoup qualifying medical expenses. There's a big caveat, though: you can only deduct the amount that exceeds 7.5% of your AGI. (Note: The 7.5% floor will increase to 10% beginning with 2019 returns.)
  • There are various ways to set aside pre-tax money to pay for expenses later. Among the variants are HSAs, FSAs, and MSAs. We cover what these accounts are, who's eligible, how you use them, and what counts as qualifying expenses.
  • When you leave a job or retire, it may make sense to take advantage of COBRA, to continue your current insurance plan during the transition.
  • Finally, we look at a few tax breaks associated with life insurance and long-term care insurance (LTC). They each have functions in a complete financial plan, and there are ways to get a tax break from them.

Speaking of health insurance in particular, be sure to check out our Affordable Care Act section, where you'll find a rundown of what the ACA means, who's affected, and calculators for insurance and the penalty.


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