Find out which medical and dental expenses are deductible and how to claim them on your taxes—plus, some tax traps to avoid.
Are Health Insurance Premiums Tax Deductible?
You can also deduct insurance premiums that cover medical and dental care—unless your employer paid them for you. That’s because the cost of employer-paid premiums are typically excluded from your gross income, making them a tax-free benefit to begin with. So deducting them on Schedule A would be double-dipping, which is definitely not allowed by the IRS.
Additionally, medical expenses paid using a health savings account don’t qualify for a tax deduction because funds in the account were never subject to tax.
Medical Costs That Are Not Tax Deductible
While there are hundreds of expenses that qualify for the medical and dental tax deduction—don’t get carried away! Here’s a list of expenses that are not tax deductible:
- Over-the-counter medicines that don’t require a prescription
- Controlled substances like marijuana (even if legalized by state law)
- Personal use items like toothpaste, tissues, or soap
- Elective cosmetic surgery or hair transplants
- Teeth whitening
- Gym memberships or swimming lessons
- Vitamins or nutritional supplements, unless recommended by a doctor to treat a diagnosed medical condition
- Funeral or burial expenses