Popular tax deductions, credits, and exclusions get better in 2023 due to inflation hikes
Heirs in 2023 will get to keep even more out of Uncle Sam's reach thanks to inflation adjustments

Inflation adjustments to medical tax provisions could be one Rx for rising costs

Pharmacist in front of pharmacy shelves

If you've been to a doctor recently, refilled a subscription, had to go to an emergency room, or just bought over-the-counter medications, you know that all these cost a lot more than in previous years.

It's enough to make you sick, or at least nudge up your blood pressure a bit.

However, the tax code might have an Rx that can help.

There are a variety of medical tax breaks that can help lower your federal tax bill. Several of them are adjusted each year to account for inflation.

Here, in today's Part 5 post of the ol' blog's annual tax inflation series, is a look at those health care related changes for the 2023 tax year.

Flexible spending account (FSA) bumps: A medical flexible spending account, or FSA, is a great and tax-saving way to pay for health costs that aren't covered by your insurance. How much you put into this workplace benefit also is indexed for inflation.

The base FSA amount for a health-related account was set at $2,500 when the Affordable Care Act, aka the ACA and/or Obamacare, became law back in 2010. The ACA also allows for the possibility that the FSA limit could increase depending on inflation.

For the 2023 tax year, you can put up to $3,050 in your FSA. That's a $200 increase from 2022's $2,850 FSA contribution limit.

Inflation also helps out if your company plan provides some relief from the usual FSA use-it-or-lose-it rule. Some employers allow their workers to roll over unused FSA money into the next benefits year. The IRS says that in 2023, the allowable rollover amount of $610. That's a $40 inflation bump from this year's $570 FSA rollover limit.

Health Savings Account (HSA) increases: Sometimes the cost of health insurance makes you feel worse than things that drive you to the doctor. That's why some folks opt for a high-deductible health plan, or HDHP.

The premiums for an HDHP tend to be lower. The downside, though, is the high deductible phrase in these plans' names. You have to pay more to reach your HDHP's deductible amount before the insurance coverage kicks in.

The tax code offers some help in dealing with an HDHP's high out-of-pocket costs. You can open an associated Health Savings Account, or HSA, to pay for your larger deductibles.

The tax benefits of an HSA include:

  • Fully deductible contributions up to the legal limit;
  • Untaxed withdrawals when used to pay qualified medical expenses, including dental and vision exams, as well as some treatments that have come in handy in dealing with COVID-19;
  • Tax-free interest on the earnings as long as the money is used to pay qualified medical expenses; and
  • No requirement that HSA money be used or forfeited by a certain deadline.

The IRS actually announced back in April the 2023 inflation adjustments for HSAs and the HDHPs required to open these medical accounts.

To save you some time (although if you want to click on over to that earlier post using the link in the previous sentence, that's great, too) the table below shows the HSA contribution and maximum out-of-pocket limits for high-deductible medical coverage for the 2023 and, for comparison, the 2022 tax years.

Maximum Contribution and Out-of-Pocket Limits
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
& High-Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs)




HSA contribution limit

Self-only: $3,650
Family: $7,300

Self-only: $3,850
Family: $7,750

HSA catch-up contributions
(age 55 or older)



HDHP minimum deductibles

Self-only: $1,400
Family: $2,800

Self-only: $1,500
Family: $3,000

HDHP maximum
out-of-pocket amounts

Self-only: $7,050
Family: $14,100

Self-only: $7,500
Family: $15,000

A note about the catch-up provision. It is set by law and not subject to annual inflation adjustments.

Medical Savings Account (MSA): Another tax-favored medical savings account is the aptly named Medical Savings Account, or MSA. This account also is known as an Archer MSA, with the name recognizing the former Texas Republican Rep. Bill Archer's support of the plan. Whatever you call it, these accounts also are potentially affected by annual inflation changes.

The Archer MSA was created to help self-employed individuals and employees of certain small companies meet medical care costs. But since 2007, they have essentially been replaced by HSAs. The IRS continues to account for them in inflation calculations to accommodate the Archer MSAs created before the law change. You can find details on the different accounts IRS Publication 969.

For tax year 2023, the IRS says that participants who have self-only coverage in an MSA, the plan must have an annual deductible that is not less than $2,650 (an increase from the $2,450 for 2022 tax year), but not more than $3,950 (that's also a bump from the $3,700 for the 2022 tax year). The maximum out-of-pocket expenses (other than for policy premiums) for self-only coverage in 2023 will be $5,300 (another increase, this time up from 2022's $4,950 cap).

For MSA participants with family coverage in 2023, the floor for the annual deductible is $5,300 (up from 2022's $4,950). However, the deductible next year cannot be more than $7,900 (a jump from the $7,400 for this year).

And if you have family coverage, the out-of-pocket expense limit (again, this doesn't cover premiums) is $9,650 in 2023, an increase from the tax year 2022 limit of $9,050.

Long-term care coverage premiums: In addition to medical insurance, many folks buy long-term care insurance to help them pay for the assistance they might need, in their own homes or in an eldercare facility, when they are older.

Premiums for a long-term care policy are deductible up to a certain amount as an itemized medical expense. The maximum deduction is based on your age and the amounts that can be claimed on Schedule A, and which can be claimed as part of you total medical expenses that exceed more than 7.5 percent of your adjusted gross income (AGI), are adjusted for inflation.

The table below shows the deductible long-term policy payment amounts for the 2022 and 2023 tax years:

Age by the end
of the tax year



40 or younger



41 to 50



51 to 60



61 to 70



71 and older



More doses of tax inflation tips: How are you feeling now, after all these health care tax numbers? I know it's a lot, but I hope this post took you less time to read than that five-year-old magazine you thumbed through during the too-long wait the last time you went to your doctor's office.

I also hope this information makes you feel a bit better about your taxes and how you can use these medical inflation-adjusted tax breaks to reduce them.

And the good tax medicine isn't over. This Part 5 post means we're half-way through this year's annual 10-part 2023 tax inflation series. More inflation figures are on their way in the coming weekdays.

If you want to review the four earlier inflation items, as well as a couple posted earlier, you can find these 2023 tax inflation posts in the directory at the end of the first inflation item.

Thanks for reading this one and all the rest. And thanks especially for your tax inflation interest and explanation patience.

This post on inflation's effects on 2023 medical expenses
is Part 5 of the ol' blog's annual series on myriad tax inflation adjustments. 
The 10-part series started with a look at next year's
income tax brackets and rates.
That first item also has a directory, at the end of the post,
of all of the posted and upcoming tax-related inflation updates for 2023.
Note: The 2023 figures in this post apply to that tax year's returns to be filed in 2024.
For comparison purposes, you'll also find 2022 amounts that apply
to this year's 2022 taxes that will be due April 18, 2023.






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