Is Health Insurance Taxable Income?

As long as your health insurance premiums are paid through payroll deduction, they qualify as tax deductible expenses. Please be aware that only certain premiums qualify.

Limiting exclusion could reduce work incentives for those who place high value on health coverage, especially those who expect heavy medical use, while it might impact how employers structure compensation packages in order to compete for workers.


Health insurance premiums are one of the greatest expenses facing many Americans, leading many to wonder whether or not they can write off these costs on their taxes. The answer to this question depends on several factors including where and how you purchase coverage as well as whether or not itemize deductions.

If you’re covered by an employer-sponsored health plan, your premiums are most likely tax deductible as they’re deducted from pre-tax salary and saved as tax breaks; thus bringing down overall cost significantly more than without such tax breaks.

Additional medical expenses, in addition to your monthly premium payments, may often qualify as tax deductible expenses. These can include payments to doctors, dentists and surgeons as well as payments made for outpatient procedures like acupuncture treatments and inpatient hospital care. You can find an exhaustive list of eligible expenses on the IRS website.

Premiums paid for private health insurance cannot be claimed as tax deductible expenses as these payments go directly to an insurance provider rather than directly to you healthcare provider.

Though not explicitly stated by the IRS, health insurance premiums do not qualify as tax deductible deductions. Claire Hunsaker from AskFlossie notes in her recent article titled “Health Insurance Premiums Are Not Tax Deductible,” premiums for individual health plans do not count as essential services under Affordable Care Act and therefore cannot be claimed as deductions on tax returns.

However, as an S-corp shareholder you may be eligible to deduct your health insurance premium as an expense in relation to business expenses as it was purchased with after-tax dollars, according to a article. This practice is common among S-corp shareholders as they don’t typically need an employer-sponsored plan and instead can purchase individual policies using HSAs which allow up to 7.5% of adjusted gross income (AGI). This amount covers qualified medical expenditures including individual or family health insurance premium costs.


Health insurance policies are contracts that offer coverage in exchange for monthly premium payments. Most policies cover most or all medical and surgical expenses for pregnancy and preventative care as well as co-pays/deductibles that arise, with premiums either being paid by individuals themselves or their employers depending on the plan type.

Employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) premiums are exempt from income and payroll taxes, providing workers a tax subsidy for this form of health coverage that accounts for the vast majority of health plans in America.

Self-employed individuals may deduct health insurance premiums as itemized deductions on Schedule A of Form 1040 if reported as itemized expenses on this form, with only those expenses that exceed 7.5% of adjusted gross income being eligible to deduct premiums as itemized deductions; this threshold does not measure premium costs, but rather total medical expenses, including certain reimbursements such as COBRA coverage which only qualify if itemizing.

As part of the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to purchase individual health coverage or face penalties, premium tax credits may help offset some or all of your health insurance premium costs if your income does not qualify for subsidies through exchanges.

Though many assume the medical expense deduction has no impact on prices, studies show otherwise. Exclusion from exemption threshold puts upward pressure on prices over this limit which leads to higher fees and administrative costs; replacing it with a credit would alleviate this distortion and potentially bring down prices.


Health insurance premiums may or may not be tax deductible depending on several factors, including how you purchase coverage, itemizing deductions and how much medical expenses you incur. You can calculate what deductions may apply by adding up eligible itemized deductions and comparing them against your standard deduction amount; additionally if you qualify for premium subsidies from Obamacare this could change how much is deducted from taxes.

Most Americans obtain health coverage through employer-sponsored group plans. When Congress wrote the tax code, however, they did not consider health benefits like wages for purposes of federal income taxation; rather, they relied on a clause in the code which allows individuals to exclude unreimbursed medical expenses paid out for themselves and family members from their taxable income.

2022’s IRS Publication 535 states that health insurance premiums paid with posttax dollars – such as from a flexible spending account or Health Savings Account (HSA). You may also deduct them if you purchase self-employed coverage yourself and are self-employed; however, pretax funds such as payroll deduction plans or distributions from individual retirement accounts do not count towards this deduction.

Problematically, this exemption raises prices and implicitly penalizes workers unless they enroll in an employer-sponsored health plan which disappears upon changing jobs or retirement – similar to the individual mandate established under Obamacare.

Self-employed taxpayers who purchase health insurance premiums above 7.5% of their adjusted gross income may deduct them as tax deductions; this includes both spouse and children coverage premiums. Married taxpayers can claim tax credits on their share. Self-employed persons also may deduct long-term care insurance paid for with posttax dollars from their business.


With healthcare prices steadily on the rise, consumers are searching for ways to cut their monthly healthcare costs. One such method is taking advantage of tax breaks on medical premiums. Unfortunately, understanding health insurance taxes and forms can be daunting and complicated; to maximize savings it’s essential that one recognizes exclusions, deductions, credits etc. for maximum tax savings potential.

Health insurance is subject to various taxes, such as income and payroll taxes. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), premium tax credits were introduced as an aid in helping lower costs for people and families with low to moderate incomes; they are calculated throughout the year based on estimated income estimates; at year’s end, any advance payments of premium tax credit received must be reconciled against final taxable income using Form 1095-A.

Tax treatment of health care has an immense effect on both the health insurance market and on its quality of coverage. A healthy market should offer consumers options in terms of insurers, plan types and benefit packages – however current federal and state tax treatment of health care creates distortions which skew supply and demand and limit quality coverage.

Employer-sponsored health insurance (ESI) diverts over $1 trillion each year in income and payroll taxes away from workers and into employers’ pockets, distorting incentives in both medical care and insurance sectors and linking it with employment relationships – leading to lost consumer control, misguided incentive structures and price signals which drive up costs and decrease quality care services.

Reducing ESI tax distortion would allow workers to select coverage that meets their needs best, as well as demand that employers return any money currently being spent on subsidized ESI back into cash wages or other compensation packages for them. As a result, both individual workers and the economy at large would gain from increased choice and greater discipline within the health insurance market.