CHAPTER 2 Medical Expenses

The historic health care reform package, comprised of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, has dramatically overhauled health care in the United States. Now almost everyone must carry health insurance—through employer coverage, a government program, or self-pay—or owe a penalty tax.

Health care reform was supposed to bring down the cost of health insurance, but for many individuals this has not been the case. Fortunately, the tax law provides you with some relief for the high cost of coverage by allowing you to treat your medical expenses in special tax-advantaged ways, as explained in this chapter. These tax benefits apply whether coverage is paid for you by your employer or you pay health costs yourself.

To learn more about medical and dental expenses, see IRS Publication 502, Medical and Dental Expenses, IRS Publication 969, Health Savings Accounts and Other Tax-Favored Health Plans, IRS Publication 974, Premium Tax Credit, and IRS Publication 5187, Affordable Care Act: What You and Your Family Need to Know.

Employer-Provided Health Insurance

Employers with 50 or more employees are required to offer affordable health coverage for their staff and dependents. Many employers not required to provide coverage do so anyway. Of these, many employees enjoy coverage through their employers at no cost to them; others pay a portion of coverage and the employers pay the rest. ...

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