I am trying to figure how much of my Medicare premiums and Medicare Advantage (MA) premiums qualify as self-employed health insurance deduction (SEHID) "above the line" on line 29 of Schedule 1.

Background: I am retired, not yet on Social Security, started Medicare Jan2018. Married March2018 to employed woman with good health plan. When I started Medicare I also started a Medicare Advantage plan, through my previous employer as a retiree, which requires a small add'l premium (above the Medicare B premium).

These are what I believe to be the relevant questions, and possible answers:

  1. Does my spouse's "subsidized group health plan through employer", which I could have joined in March when we married, preclude me from deducting any premiums from March onwards ? I believe it does.

  2. Is my Medicare Advantage plan a "subsidized group health plan through employer", or just a group-discounted individual policy ? I believe the former, for two reasons. First, the premium chart for the plan has a footnote reading "The Retirement Systems share for Retiree subscribers is $403.06". Second, though my MA plan had a small premium, the less-delux version of the same plan was free. I believe this means I cannot deduct the MA premiums (even for January and February).

  3. Can I deduct my Medicare B premiums for January and February ? I believe the availability of the MA plan does not preclude this, simply because the IRS says ""Medicare premiums you voluntarily pay to obtain insurance in your name that is similar to qualifying private health insurance can be used to figure the deduction."

Unfortunately, this is very small share of my total Medicare and MA premiums for the year, but I believe it's all I'm entitled to. I solicit opinions on the accuracy of my conclusions.

P.S. I understand that I could take all these expenses on Schedule A (if the standard deduction were not now so high), and that if I qualify for SEHID, the deduction cannot exceed my net self-employment income (minus some things such as the deduction for 1/2 the self-employment tax).

  • 1
    You describe yourself as “retired.” Do you have any self-employment income? – Ben Miller - Remember Monica Feb 23 '19 at 8:47
  • Yeah, see my PS. It's pretty small, but more than my Medicare premiums, or Medicare and MA for the months before I married. – RustyShackleford Feb 23 '19 at 22:26

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