Can I Get Money Back on a Tax Return for What I Paid in Medical Insurance?

by Mark Kennan

    If rising medical insurance premiums are lightening your wallet, you might be able to get some of it back when you file your income tax return with one of two different tax deductions. When figuring the deductions, you can't include the costs for medical insurance that is paid by your employer or reimbursed.

    Self-Employed Insurance Premiums

    If you're self-employed, you may qualify to deduct your medical insurance costs as an adjustment to income. To be eligible, the plan must be established under your trade or business, and you cannot be able to get medical insurance through an employer or through your spouse's employer. When figuring the deduction, you can include the costs for yourself, your spouse, your dependents and your children under age 27. However, the deduction cannot exceed your self-employment income for the year.

    Claiming Self-Employment Premiums

    To claim your self-employment premiums, you have to report the total paid on line 29 of Form 1040. Besides being able to deduct the full amount -- as long as it does not exceed your self-employment income -- you also benefit by not having to itemize your deductions to take advantage of the tax break.

    Medical Expenses Deduction

    If you're not self-employed, you may still be able to use medical insurance premiums to increase your income tax refund. Medical insurance costs count as a qualified expense for the medical and dental expenses deduction, which allows you to write off the amount of your qualified expenses the exceeds a specified percentage of your adjusted gross income. For 2012, the threshold is 7.5 percent, but in 2013 and future years, the threshold increases to 10 percent.

    Claiming the Medical Expenses Deduction

    To claim the medical and dental expenses deduction, you have to itemize your income tax deductions with Schedule A, meaning you can't claim the standard deduction. On line 1 of Schedule A, enter your total medical and dental expenses, including your medical insurance premiums. On line 2, enter your adjusted gross income. On line 3, enter the threshold based on the specified percentage of your AGI. Finally, on line 4, enter the amount of your qualified expenses that exceeds the threshold as your actual deduction.

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    About the Author

    Mark Kennan is a freelance writer specializing in finance-related articles. He has worked as a sports editor for "Ring-Tum Phi" and published articles on a number of online outlets. Kennan holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and politics from Washington and Lee University.

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