New LTC Insurance Premium Deductibility Limits

The Internal Revenue Service has announced the 2007 limitations on the deductibility of long-term care insurance premiums from taxes. Premiums for “qualified” (see explanation below) long-term care policies are treated as an unreimbursed medical expense. These premiums – what the policyholder pays the insurance company to keep the policy in force – are deductible to the extent that they, along with other unreimbursed medical expenses (including “Medigap” insurance premiums), exceed 7.5 percent of the insured’s adjusted gross income. Long-term care insurance premiums are deductible for the taxpayer, his or her spouse and other dependents. If you are self-employed, the rules are a little different. You can take the amount of the premium as a deduction as long as you made a net profit – your medical expenses do not have to exceed 7.5 percent of your income.

However, there is a limit on how large a premium can be deducted, depending on the age of the taxpayer at the end of the year. Following are the deductibility limits for 2007. Any premium amounts above these limits are not considered to be a medical expense.

Attained age before the close of the taxable year Maximum deduction
40 or less $290
More than 40 but not more than 50 $550
More than 50 but not more than 60 $1,110
More than 60 but not more than 70 $2,950
More than 70 $3,680

What Is a “Qualified” Policy?
To be “qualified,” policies issued on or after January 1, 1997, must adhere to regulations established by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Among the requirements are that the policy must offer the consumer the options of “inflation” and “non-forfeiture” protection, although the consumer can choose not to purchase these features. Policies purchased before January 1, 1997, will be grandfathered and treated as “qualified” as long as they have been approved by the insurance commissioner of the state in which they are sold. For more on the “qualified” definition, click here and scroll down to “The tax deductibility of long-term care insurance premiums”.

The Taxation of Benefits
Benefits from reimbursement policies, which pay for the actual services a beneficiary receives, are not included in income. Benefits from per diem or indemnity policies, which pay a predetermined amount each day, are not included in income except amounts that exceed the beneficiary’s total qualified long-term care expenses or $260 per day (for 2007), whichever is greater.

 The Georgetown University Long-Term Care Financing Project has a two-page fact sheet entitled “Tax Code Treatment of Long-Term Care and Long-Term Care Insurance.” To download it in PDF format, click here .

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