My employer does not provide health insurance. I have my own health insurance policy for myself and my spouse. My employer reimburses me for 1/2 of my health insurance cost. Is this reimbursement taxable income to me on my federal tax return?
Health insurance is the most widespread employee benefit in the U.S. Generally, the entire cost is deductible to employers, but nothing is includable in employees' taxable income as a result of a payment of plan benefits -- if the plan meets certain rules. This would be called a postpaid plan or self-funded plan, which can reimburse employees for payments to health care providers.
The employee does not have taxable income when:
1.) the employer pays insurance premiums
2.) when benefits are paid, or
3.) when the plan reimburses the employee for covered expenses
UNLESS the employee is considered highly compensated and the plan is a discriminatory non-insured medical expense reimbursement plan.
Highly compensated individuals are:
a.) the five highest paid officers of the employer;
b.) shareholders who own at least 10 percent (by value) of the employer's stock; and
c.) individuals who are among the highest paid 25 percent of all employees, other than 10 percent shareholders who are not participants.
A plan is treated as discriminating as to eligibility unless:
Whether an eligibility pattern is nondiscriminatory is determined based on all facts and circumstances.
See IRC 105, 106.
answered 19 Feb '11, 18:56
Bill is correct - but a couple of additional comments --
The employer must have a plan to reimburse you for the cost of health insurance - the plan does not have to be in writing. You cannot have the option to receive cash instead of health insurance unless your employer has a Section 125 (cafeteria) plan in place (which must be in writing) - then any cash you receive instead of the benefit is taxable wages and should be included in your W-2. This means that you must actually have health insurance and your out of pocket cost must be at least the amount your employer is reimbursing.
In your case, your employer is paying half your out of pocket cost. But suppose your employer pays you $500 per month for heath insurance, but your cost is only $400 per month. The entire $500 is taxable income to you and should be included in your W-2. Or, if you are covered on your spouse's employer's policy and your spouse pays $500 per month pre-tax (under the spouse's employer's Section 125 plan) - you have no after tax cost, so the entire $500 is taxable income and should be included in your W-2.
If the reimbursement qualifies for exclusion from your income, which it looks like it does based on the information you provided, yyou may not use the portion of your cost that is reimbursed as a medical expense deduction on Sch A because it was not included in your income. If you otherwise qualify, you can deduct the amount that was not reimbursed.
answered 20 Feb '11, 17:11
So to simplify the above answers... taxable if the employee is receiving a Health Insurance benefit. NOT taxable if the employee is being reimbursed for an already incurred Health Insurance expense.
answered 22 Jul, 00:33