TurboTax / Tax Calculators & Tips / All Tax Guides / Self-Employment Taxes / Deducting Health Insurance Premiums If You're Self-Employed

Deducting Health Insurance Premiums If You're Self-Employed

Updated for Tax Year 2014


Most self-employed taxpayers can deduct health insurance premiums, including age-based premiums for long-term care coverage. Write-offs are available whether or not you itemize, if you meet the requirements.

If you are self-employed, you may be eligible to deduct premiums that you pay for medical, dental and qualifying long-term care insurance coverage for yourself, your spouse and your dependents. This health insurance write-off is entered on page 1 of Form 1040, which means you benefit whether or not you itemize your deductions. Unlike an itemized deduction, this deduction treatment is beneficial because it lowers your adjusted gross income (AGI). Having lower AGI can reduce the odds that you’ll be affected by unfavorable phase-out rules that can cut back or eliminate various tax breaks. Keep in mind that this deduction treatment also means you can’t deduct the premiums when you calculate your self-employment tax liability.

Deduction eligibility rules

  • Eligibility is determined month-by-month
    You can only claim the health insurance premiums write-off for months when neither you nor your spouse were eligible to participate in an employer-subsidized health plan. For example, if you were single and ineligible for any employer-provided health plan during the last six months of the year because you left your job and started your own business, you can claim the deduction for premiums you paid for coverage during that six-month period.
  • Earned income limitation
    The deduction cannot exceed the earned income you collect from your business. For example, if your self-employment activity is a sole proprietorship that generated a tax loss for the year, you’re not allowed to claim the deduction because the business doesn’t generate any positive earned income.
  • Partners and LLC members
    Partners and LLC members who are treated as partners for tax purposes are considered to be self-employed. If you fit into this category and directly pay your own health insurance premiums, you can claim the page 1 deduction. If the partnership or LLC pays the premiums, special tax reporting rules apply to the partnership’s or LLC’s return, but you can still claim the deduction for premiums paid for your coverage. In both instances, the deduction is subject to the month-by-month eligibility rule and the earned-income limitation.

Premiums paid to cover your employees

If your business has employees and you pay health insurance premiums for them, these amounts are deducted on the applicable tax form and line for employee benefit program expenses. For example, if your business is a sole proprietorship, you deduct premiums paid to provide health coverage to employees on line 14 of Schedule C.

Limited deductions for long-term care insurance premiums

Here's what you can deduct this year for long-term care insurance premiums.


Age 40 and younger 


Age 41 to 50             


Age 51 to 60           


Age 61 to 70           


Over age 70            



The bottom line

If you qualify, the deduction for self-employed health insurance premiums is a valuable tax break. With the rising cost of health insurance, a tax deduction can help you pay at least a portion of the premium cost. And that will help to keep you healthy—and happy—in 2013 and beyond.

If you’re self-employed, TurboTax Home & Business offers step-by-step guidance for handling all of your personal and business deductions.

Business and personal taxes in one

Just answer simple questions about your business and life, and TurboTax Home & Business takes care of the rest.

For only $104.99*
Start for Free

The above article is intended to provide generalized financial information designed to educate a broad segment of the public; it does not give personalized tax, investment, legal, or other business and professional advice. Before taking any action, you should always seek the assistance of a professional who knows your particular situation for advice on taxes, your investments, the law, or any other business and professional matters that affect you and/or your business.

* Important Offer Details and Disclosures
  • Try for Free/Pay When You File: TurboTax online and mobile pricing is based on your tax situation and varies by product. Actual prices are determined at the time of print or efile and are subject to change without notice. Special discount offers may not be valid for mobile in-app purchases.
  • TurboTax CD/Download products: Price includes tax preparation and printing of federal tax returns and free federal efile of up to 5 federal tax returns. Additional fees apply for efiling state returns. E-file fees do not apply to New York state returns. Prices subject to change without notice.
  • TurboTax Mobile: Actual prices are determined at the time of print or efile and are subject to change without notice. Come back here before you file to confirm that the price has not changed, especially if it's been a while since you downloaded this app.
  • Anytime, anywhere: Internet access required; standard message and data rates apply to download and use mobile app features and content. TurboTax mobile app devices supported include Android 4.1 and above, iOS 8 on iPhone 4s and above, and iPad 2.
  • Fastest refund possible: Fastest tax refund with efile and direct deposit; tax refund timeframes will vary.
  • Pay for TurboTax out of your federal refund: A $34.99 Refund Processing Service fee applies to this payment method. Prices are subject to change without notice.
  • About our TurboTax Product Experts: Customer service and product support (phone or chat) vary by time of year. Phone support not included with Free Edition.
  • About our credentialed tax experts: Live tax advice service is available for your toughest tax questions; fees may apply. Service, experience levels, hours of operation and availability vary, and are subject to restriction and change without notice. Click here for full terms and conditions. Not available for TurboTax Business customers.
  • Get up to 10% on top of your federal refund: Amazon.com Gift Card offer is for federal refunds only. Limits apply ($2000 per e-card, maximum $10,000 per customer). Offer available only for TurboTax Online (except Federal Free Edition) or CD/download versions sold and shipped, or downloaded directly from Intuit or Amazon. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards cannot be canceled, transferred for value or redeemed for cash.

    Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards ('GCs') cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.
  • #1 best-selling tax software: Based on aggregated sales data for all tax year 2013 TurboTax products.
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars: Average based on customer ratings on TurboTax.com for TurboTax Online and CD/download products tax year 2014, as of January 2015.
  • Most Popular: TurboTax Deluxe is our most popular product among TurboTax Online users with more complex tax situations.
  • TurboTax CD/Download priority phone support: Priority phone support for TurboTax CD/Download Premier and Home & Business is accessible exclusively via the TurboTax.com Help Center.
  • Benefit Assist: After you file, TurboTax automatically shows you a full list of government benefits you may qualify for, like Food Stamps or reduced phone & utilities. Plus, we help you apply, saving you time and making it easier than ever to get more money! Estimate based on calculation of Benefit Assist users from tax year 2013 and published reports of average benefit and savings amounts from federal and state programs. Actual amounts and qualifications based on your individual situation; some individuals will not qualify. Feature may not be available for all customers.
  • Simplified State Experience: New, simplified state tax preparation available for most filers.
  • Eligibility for $25 cash back for returning Deluxe customers: Customers who have completed their 2013 taxes in TurboTax Deluxe (CD or download), and have completed their 2014 taxes in either TurboTax Premier or TurboTax Home & Business (CD or download), and apply here before 11:59PM PDT April 20, 2015, are eligible for $25 back. 2014 TurboTax Advantage users are ineligible for this offer. Terms and conditions are subject to change without notice.
  • $0 Upgrade Offer: Valid for customers who filed their 2013 taxes with TurboTax Deluxe (CD or download), completed prior year data transfer this year, and encounter an upgrade to either 2014 TurboTax Premier or 2014 TurboTax Home & Business (CD or download). Valid February 6, 2015 through April 20, 2015. TurboTax Advantage users are ineligible for this offer. This offer may not be combined with our $25 cash back offer. Terms and conditions are subject to change without notice.