Are Health Insurance Premiums for College Students a Deductible?

Are Health Insurance Premiums for College Students a Deductible?
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With the price of health insurance skyrocketing, you may wonder if you can deduct the cost of the premiums from your federal taxes. While you can deduct health insurance premiums in most cases, the answer depends whether or not you itemize deductions on your federal tax return and whether you or your employer paid for the premiums.

College Health Insurance

The majority of college students are on their parents' employer-sponsored group plan. However, if you want to deduct your health insurance premiums, you must have paid for the premium yourself. If you are on your parents' health insurance plan, you can't deduct the premium -- but your parents can. Your college may have a college health insurance plan to pay for basic clinic needs or you may have an individual health insurance plan. Both of these types of premiums are deductible.

Itemizing Deductions

To claim and medical or dental expenses on your tax return, you must itemize deductions on Form 1040, Schedule A. You can only claim health insurance premiums that you paid in college if your health insurance premiums exceeded 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income. If you are a college student, you'll probably be earning a low income and will qualify for the deduction. The only way to know for sure is to calculate your adjusted gross income and see if your premiums exceed the 7.5 percent threshold.

Allowable Deductions

The Internal Revenue Services defines the types of health insurance premiums that you can deduct on your policy. If you have a major medical policy, a policy that covers long-term care or both, you can deduct the premiums. You can also deduct premiums paid for dental insurance and vision insurance. The premiums are deductible whether you are self-employed, work for someone else or are a college student.

Other Health Deductions

Don't overlook the other medical expenses you can deduct: fees that you paid to any health care professional are deductible. For example, if you needed to get a sports physical that wasn't covered by your insurance, you can deduct the cost of that. As a college student, you may have had to get booster immunization shots: they are covered too. If you paid copays or out of pocket for prescription drugs, acupuncture treatments or prescription glasses, they are allowable deductions.