Is a Medical Alert System Tax-Deductible?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows individuals to offset the cost of certain medical-related items against their income to reduce their yearly tax bill. Many medical expenses including supplies, diagnostic devices, treatments and preventative tools qualify as deductible. Medical alert systems are not specifically listed as tax deductible by the IRS, but they can be treated as such in certain circumstances, for example, if a physician has recommended the use of a system.

What Medical Expenses Are Tax Deductible?

The IRS publishes a detailed list of items that are tax deductible. Allowable medical expenses include:

  • Health insurance premiums
  • Prescription drugs
  • Medically necessary equipment
  • Hearing aids, dentures or eyeglasses
  • Essential medical supplies such as blood glucose test strips
  • Communication aids for those with vision or hearing impairments
  • Home modifications made for medical reasons

A medical alert device may fit into the category of medically necessary equipment if a doctor has recommended the use of the device to a patient who lives alone and has an illness or disability that puts them at increased risk of injury from a fall.

Devices could also be treated as special equipment for the purposes of medical care in a person’s home, in a similar way to access ramps, stairlifts or other modifications made to help a senior age in place.

Other Ways To Save Money on Medical Alert Systems

Tax deductions aren’t the only option for seniors who are looking to reduce the cost of medical alert devices. Seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans may be able to claim the cost of their medical alert system on their health insurance.

Many companies offer discounts on medical alert systems for veterans or members of organizations such as the AARP and USAA. Discounts vary between manufacturers, so it makes sense for seniors to shop around and compare prices among the best manufacturers of medical alert systems to ensure they get the best deal.