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Publication 17

Chapter 21
Medical and Dental Expenses(p140)

What's New(p140)


Standard mileage rate.(p140)

The standard mileage rate allowed for operating expenses for a car when you use it for medical reasons is 16.5 cents per mile. See Transportation under What Medical Expenses Are Includible.

COBRA Premium Assistance.(p140)

If you involuntarily lost your job after August 31, 2008, and before June 1, 2010, you may qualify for a 65% reduction in premiums for COBRA continuation coverage for up to 15 months. There are also special rules for individuals who lost their health coverage because of a reduction in working hours. The premium reduction is not included in your gross income. You cannot claim the health coverage tax credit for any month that you receive this premium. Also, certain TAA-eligible and PBGC recipients qualify for an extension of COBRA benefits.
For more information, see Publication 502, Medical and Dental Expenses.
This chapter will help you determine the following.


Useful items

You may want to see:

 502 Medical and Dental Expenses
 969 Health Savings Accounts and Other Tax-Favored Health Plans
Form (and Instructions)
 Schedule A (Form 1040): Itemized Deductions

What Are Medical Expenses?(p140)

Medical expenses are the costs of diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, and the costs for treatments affecting any part or function of the body. These expenses include payments for legal medical services rendered by physicians, surgeons, dentists, and other medical practitioners. They include the costs of equipment, supplies, and diagnostic devices needed for these purposes.
Medical care expenses must be primarily to alleviate or prevent a physical or mental defect or illness. Do not include expenses that are merely beneficial to general health, such as vitamins or a vacation.
Medical expenses include the premiums you pay for insurance that covers the expenses of medical care, and the amounts you pay for transportation to get medical care. Medical expenses also include amounts paid for qualified long-term care services and limited amounts paid for any qualified long-term care insurance contract.