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How You Can Save Taxes with Medical Expenses

Amid a sedentary lifestyle and hectic routines, our lives have succumbed to a number of lifestyle diseases. The rise in healthcare expenses is a result of deteriorating health conditions due to the mechanical urban lifestyle. Considering this, the healthcare insurance which your employer has provided you might not suffice, primarily because the sum assured would be inadequate. If you want to fully protect your family and yourself from these health risks, you need to think ahead.

As per the Income Tax Act 1961, investing in medical insurance is an important step, if you want to enjoy the benefits of tax deductions. Thus, purchasing health insurance plan for yourself and your loved ones (including parents) can save you, not only from financial liabilities during medical emergencies, but also from tax liabilities.

Most financial planners would recommend that you begin your financial planning - by selecting a suitable health insurance policy. We all have set goals and to achieve them, it’s important to start saving an adequate sum from as early on as possible. And buying insurance policies including mediclaim policies can ward off those unnecessary tax deductions from your hard earned money.  Do not fret about the policy premium that you will have to pay every year, simply look at the bigger picture! What will you gain in future from this preliminary investment? You will safeguard yourself and your loved ones from uncertain health risks, you will get a tax rebate, and financial cover for hospitalization expenses.  

What is Section 80D of Income Tax Act 1961?  

The part of your income which goes into buying a medical insurance and maintaining your wellbeing, holds a great importance for your financial planning and tax exemption. Under section 80D, anyone who buys a mediclaim policy to cover hospitalization expenses, health treatment and medical tests, is allowed to apply for tax exemption. 

How much can you save if you buy a health insurance plan for yourself or your parents?

  • If you buy health insurance for yourself, you are entitled for a tax exemption up to Rs. 25,000
  • If you are purchasing it for your elderly parents and yourself, you can avail a total tax benefit of Rs. 55,000. (Rs. 25,000 for yourself and Rs. 30,000 if it is a mediclaim policy for senior citizens)
  • If your parents are below the age of 60 years, they would not come under the category of senior citizens. For their health insurance, the tax exemption limit would be Rs. 25,000 only
  • If precautionary medical checkups are conducted for yourself and other dependent family members (including your spouse, parents and children), then the exemption limit would be Rs. 5,000 only.
  • However, the maximum limit of tax deduction is only Rs. 60,000 for those who have taken a health insurance plan.

Below mentioned are vital factors you should be aware of, if you want to avail tax benefits from your mediclaim policy for fiscal 2017-2018

1. Exemption from regular medical expenses

  • It comes under section 10A of the Income Tax Act 196.
  • The tax exemption limit is of up to Rs. 15,000.
  • If your employer provides health insurance benefits, then you can save up to the amount of Rs. 15000 from your total taxable salary.
  • For employees there is an exemption on their medical bills also. This would include chemist bills, health checkup bills, and even medical consultation fee.
  • Medical expenses levied on your family members including your partner, parents and your children.
  • The process is simple; just submit the original copy of your medical bills to your company HR or follow your company’s protocols for the same

2. Exemption from precautionary medical checkups

  • It comes under section 80D of the Income Tax Act 1961
  • The tax exemption limit is up to Rs. 5,000
  • Medical tests carried out for anyone from your family members, will be exempted.
  • However, this exemption is a part of the comprehensive deduction available under Section 80D of the Income Tax Act, 1961
  • You just need to provide the original copy of your laboratory receipt from which you have got the tests done

3. Exemption from health treatment of specially challenged dependents

  • It comes under section 80DD of the Income Tax Act 1961
  • The tax exemption limit extends from  50,000 to 1 lakh
  • It’s not easy to see your family members going through any disabilities and under this act, you are given an exemption of Rs. 50,000, if you are bearing medical or maintenance expenses for any of your dependent family members.
  • This exemption is valid for your spouse, children, siblings and parents.
  • If there is more than 80% disability, you can get an exemption of up to Rs. 1 lakh per year from your total taxable salary.
  • You just need to provide proof or original copy of the medical documents of the hospital proving their disabilities. This would need to be periodically renewed.

4. Medical Treatment for Dependents with specified diseases

  • It comes under Section 80DDB of Income Tax Act 1961
  • The tax exemption limit is of up to Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 80,000.
  • If any of your family members, is suffering from any of the specific diseases, which puts them beyond 40% disability, then you can file a claim for the expenses.
  • Diseases which fall under this category are - AIDS, Cancer, Thalassemia, Kidney Failure or Neurological syndromes.
  • The amount that will be exempted varies with the age of the dependent. For those up to 60 years of age, you can get a relief of Rs. 40,000 from your tax deductions, from 61-80 years it is 60,000 rupees and for 80 years and above it is Rs. 80,000
  • What is required from you is the medical prescription and bills to give treatment details. Your healthcare provider can give you the FORM 10-1, which you can fill to claim the medical expenses.
  • Ensure that that payment is made from your bank account.

Conclusion

Our word of advice is - you don’t need to invest in medical insurance just for the sake of tax saving. It is not only an investment; it is a step that you take to keep yourself and your loved ones secure from unforeseen health risks, which also helps you save taxes. It also provides hospitalization cover to you and your family. Even if it doesn’t seem urgent at the moment, it might be too late when something actually happens to your health or your loved ones’. And also at the time of tax filing, you would be running from pillar to post to buy any random health insurance policy, merely to save taxes. So, if you take an informed decision, it will be help you fulfil both the requirements.