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fleenfire
New Member

Can I take the self-employed health insurance deduction if I could have gone on spouse's COBRA plan?

  • I'm self-employed (just a freelancer, not an LLC or corp or anything), and did have associated 1099 income greater than my insurance premium costs.
  • I started the year on my husband's employer-subsidized plan. He left that job early in the year and went onto a COBRA plan.
  • I could have opted to go onto his COBRA plan, but ACA marketplace plans were less expensive, so I opted for that. If I'd gone onto COBRA, I don't think my payments would have been subsidized by my husband's ex-employer, but I'm not sure. (If that's what I need to find out, how?)

Can I deduct my health insurance premiums for the 10 months of the year that I was on an ACA plan? Can I do so as a self-employed health insurance deduction, i.e., without itemizing? Or does access via COBRA count as access through my spouse's employer, which would make me ineligible to deduct them this way?

 

(Also, even if the answer is that I can deduct my premiums, I can't deduct my spouse's COBRA premiums, right?)

 
 
3 Replies
ColeenD3
Expert Alumni

Can I take the self-employed health insurance deduction if I could have gone on spouse's COBRA plan?

 Pub 535 say in regard to self-employed health insurance. 

 

But don’t include the following.

  • Amounts for any month you were eligible to participate in a health plan subsidized by your or your spouse’s employer or the employer of either your dependent or your child who was under the age of 27 at the end of 2019.

You can claim your ACA expenses on Schedule A.

 

Pub 535

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fleenfire
New Member

Can I take the self-employed health insurance deduction if I could have gone on spouse's COBRA plan?

Thanks @ColeenD3 , yes, that’s why I’m asking: does COBRA count as an employer-subsidized plan? Would my spouse’s ex-employer be subsidizing those COBRA payments? (“subsidized... by your spouse’s employer”)? Or is COBRA not generally an employer-subsidized plan?

 

If it may or may not be employer-subsidized, how would I find out, and is the key question whether MY payments would have been subsidized, or whether even his have been?

ColeenD3
Expert Alumni

Can I take the self-employed health insurance deduction if I could have gone on spouse's COBRA plan?

If your employer paid for a portion of your COBRA coverage, then yes it was subsidized. If, however, you paid for all of your COBRA coverage, then no, it was not subsidized.

 

COBRA

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