It’s Tax Time! Don’t Forget Diabetes Deductions

There actually may come a time when you can take advantage of the costs you incur to manage diabetes or other health conditions. That time is April 15th! If you’re in the process of finalizing your tax return, make sure you’ve included all the deductions you’re entitled to related to your medical care.



Medical expenses include all costs for diagnosis, cure, treatment or prevention of a disease, and costs for treatments affecting any part (or function) of the body that is related. These expenses include the cost of equipment, supplies and services needed as well. Lesser known medical expenses that are included too encompass premiums you pay for insurance and transportation to and from medical appointments.

So if you have diabetes, that means all your healthcare visits and testing supplies can be deducted on your tax return as itemized expenses. Consider the following medical deductions when completing your tax return:

  • Medical travel–you are allowed to deduct medical travel including trips to the doctor, hospital or to other medical services. The mileage rate for 2012 is $.23/mile.
  • Insurance premiums–if you pay for medical insurance with after-tax dollars, you can deduct the full amount.
  • Medical treatments not covered by insurance–meters, strips, eyeglasses, contact lenses, hearing aids, false teeth–most medical treatments or aids that are medically necessary but not covered by your insurance can be deducted on your tax return. This means that you can deduct all the copays you pay at the pharmacy too.
  • Weight loss programs–if your healthcare provider prescribes a weight loss program as being medically necessary, it can be included as a deductible expense.
  • Caring for a guide dog–if you have a guide dog that is trained to sense your low blood glucose levels, you can take deductions for the care of the dog including food, training and veterinary bills.
  • Braille books and magazines–if you are visually impaired you can deduct the difference in cost of products manufactured specifically for the visually impaired versus the regular vision.
  • Modifications to your home–if you require remodeling to your home to accommodate a disability, those modifications can be deducted on your taxes.
  • Laser vision surgery–surgery to correct vision may be deducted.
  • Smoking cessation programs–programs or medications that do not require a prescription, such as nicotine gum, can be deducted.

Your pharmacy may be able to help you sum up your expenses. Check to see if they can print a list of all the copays and/or purchases you’ve made for the year.

Tax laws are constantly changing and we’re by no means the experts. Talk with your lawyer, accountant or check with the IRS  for the most current list here.

Information in this article was derived from an article in the Diabetes Wellness Network’s Diabetes Wellness News, Volume 19, Number 3. Visit them at



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