Legal Matters

Another Important Reason to Have & Review Your Long Term Care Insurance


The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is increasing the amount taxpayers can deduct from their 2017 taxes as a result of buying long-term care insurance. Premiums for “qualified” long-term care insurance policies (see explanation below) are tax deductible to the extent that they, along with other unreimbursed medical expenses (including Medicare premiums), exceed 10 percent of the insured’s adjusted gross income, or 7.5 percent for taxpayers 65 and older (for 2016; this rises to 10 percent in 2017).

These premiums- what the policyholder pays the insurance company to keep the policy in force- are deductible for the taxpayer, his or her spouse and other dependents. If you are self-employed, the tax-deductibility 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 a certain percentage 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. Here is a look at the deductibility limits for 2017. Any premium amounts for the year above these limits are not considered to be a medical expense.

Maximum Deduction for Year

Attained age before the close of the taxable year*

*Age 40 or less: $410

*More than 40 but not more than 50: $770

*More than 50 but not more than 60: $1,530

*More than 60 but not more than 70: $4,090

*More than 70: $5,110

Another IRS change involves benefits from per diem or indemnity policies, which pay a predetermined amount each day. These benefits are not included in income except amounts that exceed the beneficiary’s total qualified long-term care expenses or $360 per day, whichever is greater.

What Is a “Qualified” Policy? To be “qualified,” policies issued on or after January 1,1997, must adhere to certain requirements, among them that the policy must offer the consumer the options of “inflation” and “nonforfeiture” 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.

Pre-Plan for Long Term Care. Reviewing your long term care insurance and your overall situation with your elder law attorney allows you to plan the best strategies to pay for your long term care and save thousands of dollars that can be passed to your family.

screen-shot-2016-09-26-at-10-16-54-pm screen-shot-2016-09-26-at-10-17-27-pmMelanie B. Bradford 

Partner, Bradford & Holliman, LLC

Practice focuses on estate planning, elder law and special needs trust.

2491 Pelham Parkway, Pelham, Ala. 35124


This article is for educational purposes and is not intended for specific legal advice.

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