LTCI Basics 101: What you Qualify for

By | September 24, 2009

If one of the reasons for you not getting a LTCI policy is affordability, consider the tax benefits that go along with LTCI. It would be wonderful to be able to say that Congress has allowed all LTCI policyholders to deduct the full premium on their taxes. Unfortunately, our lawmakers have not yet enacted such legislation. As is often the case, they are waiting until the system is almost broke before they will do anything like that. And with the approaching flood of adults rapidly becoming seniors, it doesn’t take much to realize that we have a train heading off the tracks at full speed. However, despite the impending train wreck, there are some tax benefits that have been approved thus far. If you are considering the purchase of long term care insurance you should know about them.

Nowadays, most of the tax deduction benefits go to the employers and the self-employed. If you don’t fall into that category, Congress requires you to itemize your LTCI policy premiums along with all other health expenses during the year. Anything over 7.5% of your adjusted gross income can be used as a deduction. If you have a health savings account (also known as an HSA medical plan), however, you may be able to deduct more even if you are an employee or retired person.  If you are a sole proprietor, a partner, or own an S corporation or LLC, even if it is just a small business, you can eliminate that 7.5% threshold and instead deduct premiums up to a certain maximum that increases with age. The schedule for tax that lists this table for qualified deductions is available for download on my Web site. If you would like to learn more about the specific deductions that may be available, you can find it at http://www.duanelipham.com/tax_summary.pdf.

If you are the owner of a C corporation, then you are fortunate enough to be able to declare the entire premium as tax deductible. The amount of money you will save depends to a large degree on your tax bracket. Many self-employed folks in the 30% tax bracket who use the tax schedule mentioned above may be able to save 20% or more of their long term care insurance premiums in tax benefits. For those who are able to deduct the entire premium, even greater savings can be realized. Of course, it is wise to consult your accountant or tax attorney to be sure of the tax benefits that may apply to you specifically. The tax benefits surrounding LTCI can save you money in the long run, and we all know what the home health care benefits can save: in some cases, your life.




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