Dec 5, 2019
AARP Urges Congress to Extend and Make Permanent the Medical Expense Deduction
Over 4 million Americans at risk of surprise tax increase if medical expense deduction not extended.

WASHINGTON—AARP Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Bill Sweeney released the following statement calling on Congress to extend and make permanent the medical expense deduction before the end of 2019:  

“AARP urges Congress to act quickly to stop a tax increase on 4.4 million Americans with high health care costs. Congress should make permanent the 7.5% threshold on medical expenses, or at the very least, extend it before the end of the year. If Congress fails to act, Americans with high out-of-pocket medical costs will be hit with an unexpected tax increase when they go to file their 2019 taxes.     

“The medical expense deduction provides vital tax relief for millions of Americans, especially older adults and people with disabilities. Allowing tax deductions for expenses like home-based care; insulin and other prescription drugs; long-term care services and related insurance premiums; and nursing homes helps make health care more affordable for those with high health care costs.

“Older adults in particular can face extremely high costs for long-term services and supports because these expenses generally are not covered by Medicare. In fact, nearly 40% of people who claim the medical expense deduction every year are age 65 or older. Among taxpayers who claim this deduction, 70% have annual incomes between $23,100 and $113,000.

“AARP, along with 50 other organizations, strongly urges Congress to pass the Medical Expense Savings Act before the end of the year so that millions of Americans claiming the medical expense deduction are not hit with a tax increase.”

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About AARP
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

Media Contact: Greg Phillips, 202-434-2560, gphillips@aarp.org, @AARPmedia