According to 2010 data, the latest available, only 10.4 million taxpayers qualify for the medical expenses deduction, claiming a total of some $85.3 million, said Lea Crusberg, south Texas and Oklahoma spokeswoman for the Internal Revenue Service.
Meanwhile, a high school friend of mine who works for the state, is frustrated he, starting last year, could set aside only $2,500 in his medical flex account because of health reforms. Previously, his employer allowed him to put $3,600 annually in the tax-favored account, while other employers allowed up to $5,000 annually.
“The cafeteria plan helped by immediately reimbursing deductibles and co-pays,” he said. “We max it out between my wife's migraines and all the other ailments Dr. Oz has her worried about. I am Type II diabetic, have gout and am on high blood pressure meds I take daily.”
I last fall made a $2,500 2013 contribution to my FSA because my daughter needs braces. In fact, her orthodontist put them on yesterday.
Meanwhile, health care costs continue to skyrocket. Along with out-of-pocket costs last year, I paid $2,049 in health insurance premiums, while my employer paid $4,784.
It's no surprise that health insurance premiums eat up an average 24 percent of yearly household incomes — a fact I learned at a Society of American Business Editors and Writers seminar last month in New York.
I'm just hoping that, a year from now when it's time to file our 2013 income taxes, I again fail the test to deduct any medical expenses.