Washington, D.C. – In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, U.S. Senator Susan Collins urged the inclusion of a two-year extension and expansion of the medical expense deduction as part of the next COVID-19 relief package.
“As we work to provide additional relief to help address the needs of older Americans, children, and individuals with disabilities in light of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the medical expense deduction is an important relief tool for the high health care costs many Americans are facing, which have only been exacerbated by this pandemic,” wrote Senator Collins. “Expanded and continued certainty for this deduction would help millions of Americans. As we learn more about COVID-19, it is clear that not all recoveries are equal and that for many the health impacts continue for a long time. By ensuring that this deduction does not expire at the end of this year, we will provide relief for those facing uncertainty in their recovery.”
Millions of Americans rely on the medical expense deduction. The burden of high medical expenses falls disproportionately on seniors and those with disabilities. The medical expense deduction is vital for those who have pre-existing medical conditions, suffer chronic medical conditions, experience unexpected illnesses or injuries, or face costs for long-term care services that are not covered by insurance.
Senator Collins has long been a supporter of the medical expense deduction. AARP estimates that nearly 20,000 Mainers already benefit from this deduction. In the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, she co-authored a provision that provides deductions of medical expenses exceeding 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI) for taxpayers filing in 2017 and 2018, instead of 10 percent of AGI. Following Senator Collins’ advocacy, another extension of this provision was secured last year, extending the deduction to the end of this calendar year.
Click HERE to read the full letter.