Medical, Dental Expenses and Tax Deductions


The IRS allows you to deduct a certain amount of medical expenses if you itemize deductions. Qualified medical deductions are expenses you paid during the tax year for yourself, your spouse, or your dependents.

List of Qualified Medical and Dental Expenses

Medical expenses are the costs associated with the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of any disease recognized by the medical community (this includes Chiropractic practices and Christian Science), and the costs for treatments affecting any area or function of the body. Medical costs include the expenses of equipment, supplies, and diagnostic devices needed for the purposes listed above. They also include dental expenses.

Below is an alphabetical list of qualified medical deductions that might apply to you (more information on medical deductions). Please note that this list is not definitive or all-inclusive.

  • abortion, acupuncture, addiction treatment, ambulance service, annual physical examination, artificial teeth, autoette
  • bandage, blood sugar test kit, body scan, breast pumps, breast reconstruction surgery, birth control pills, Braille books and magazines
  • capital expenses, car (special equipment), chiropractor, Christian Science practitioner, clinic costs, contact lenses, cosmetic surgery to correct a disfigurement, crutches
  • dental treatments, dentist, diagnostic devices, diagnostic tests, disabled dependent care expenses, doctor visit, drug addiction treatment, drugs (when prescribed by a physician)
  • eye doctor, eyeglasses, eye surgery (including laser)
  • fertility enhancement, founder’s fees
  • guide dog or other helper animal service
  • health institute, health maintenance organization, hearing aids, home care, home improvements, hospital fees and services
  • insulin, insulin treatments, insurance premiums, (care for the) intellectually or developmentally disabled
  • laboratory fees, lactation supplies, lead-based paint removal, learning disability, legal fees, lifetime care, lodging while receiving medical care (up to $50 a person per night), long-term care
  • meals, medical conferences, medical examinations, medical information plan, medical services, Medicare Part B supplemental costs, Medicare Part D premiums, medicines (when prescribed by a physician)
  • nursing home, nursing services
  • occupational therapy, operations, optometrist, organ donors, osteopath, oxygen
  • physical examination, physical therapy, podiatrist, pregnancy tests and pregnancy test kit, prescription drugs and medicines, prosthesis, psychiatric care, psychoanalysis, psychologist
  • reconstructive surgery
  • special education, sterilization, stop-smoking programs and prescription drugs, surgery
  • telephone, television, therapy, transplants, transportation**, trips, tuition (under special circumstances)
  • vasectomy, vision correction surgery
  • weight-loss program*, wheelchair, whirlpool baths (if ordered by a doctor), wig
  • x-ray

*You may deduct expenses incurred for a weight loss program if that weight loss was conducted after the diagnosis of a specific illness by your doctor.

**You may deduct transportation expenses that are incurred primarily for medical reasons, e.g. bus fare to and from the hospital, gas consumed on your way to a medical facility. You may also include the cost of meals if they were purchased at a hospital, or similar institution, where you were staying for medical care.

High Deductible Health Plan and Health Savings Account

As of July 17, 2019 the IRS added the following chronic condition treatments to the list of preventive-care benefits for which a HDHP – High-Deductible-Health-Plan can pay. This applies also if your health care spending hasn’t surpassed the plan deductible—without conflicting the rules allowing pretax contributions to Health Savings Accounts (HSA). If you as an employee are covered by an HDHP you may contribute to an HSA – with pre-tax dollars. In order to make HSA contributions with pretax dollars, an HDHP may not provide benefits for any year until the minimum deductible for that year is satisfied. However, HDHPs are not required to have a deductible for preventive care…..Read more>>