New Medical Deduction

An attempt by Congress to end the medical expense deduction caused an intense reaction because it would have affected people in nursing homes and those with costly chronic diseases. In the end, the deduction was retained and made slightly more generous by lawmakers. They lowered the threshold from 10 percent to 7.5 percent of income for tax year 2017 for taking the write-off and made it apply for 2018 as well. Thus, if taxpayers exceed 7.5% of income, they can deduct eligible expenses for 2018. The threshold for all filers rises to 10 percent of the adjusted gross income in 2019. Eligible expenses include many out – of-pocket costs that are not typically covered by health insurance. Among them are the cost of nursing home, insurance premiums paid with post-tax dollars, prostheses, eyeglasses, and even a wig after chemotherapy if needed, among others. This deduction is available only to individual filers.