Deducting medical expenses can be difficult, because of the required AGI floor of 7.5%. But there are some medical expenses that are deductible even if you don’t qualify for deducting medical expenses as an itemized deduction. Deducting these expenses lowers your taxable income, cutting your taxes. Your filing status and number of dependents don’t affect these deductions.
Here are a few medical deductions the IRS allows without itemizing.
Health Savings Account Contributions
If you contribute any money to your Health Savings Account (HSA), that acts as a deduction on your taxable income. For 2018, the maximum allowed is up to $3,450 for an individual or $6,900 for a family annually. If you’re over 55, you can contribute an extra $1,000 for the year. But if your employer contributes to your HSA, you may or may not be able to deduct those contributions. See HSAs and Your Tax Return.
Flexible Spending Account Contributions
Similar to HSAs, contributing to an employer-sponsored Flexible Spending Account (FSA) means you’re contributing pre-tax dollars, and are thus reducing your taxable income. For tax year 2018, the maximum contribution was $2,650 for each spouse.
Self-Employed Health Insurance
If you’re self-employed, you can deduct any insurance premiums for you, your spouse and dependents. You can also deduct any premiums for long-term care (LTC) insurance you paid during the year. See LTC Insurance and Your Taxes.
Impairment-Related Work Expenses
If you’re physically or mentally disabled and require equipment or services to perform your job, you can deduct your expenses. Expenses can include a reader for someone who is blind, a personal assistant, or a piece of equipment necessary to your job. Some expenses may be paid by the employer as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Damages for Personal Physical Injury
If you’re getting a reimbursement for physical injury and expenses from a legal action, you can deduct that amount from your taxes. If you’re receiving a settlement as well as reimbursements, the settlement can be taxed but the reimbursements can’t. You can’t deduct medical costs covered by the reimbursement. See Deducting Medical Expenses.
Health Coverage Tax Credit
The Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) is a credit that covers 72.5% of monthly health insurance premiums paid by eligible taxpayers. Who’s eligible? If you’re one of the following, you’re eligible to claim the HCTC:
- Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) recipient
- Alternative TAA recipient
- Reemployment TAA recipient
- Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) pension payee, if you pay for your own health coverage
- A qualifying family member of any of the above
The credit is not available for insurance purchased through a Health Insurance Marketplace.