What are eligible medical expenses?

For purposes of the Medical Care Expense Deduction, you may claim only unreimbursed and uncompensated medical expenses that were:

  • Part of the up to 10% (or 7.5% if over 65) of federal AGI which is excluded from your itemized medical deduction, or
  • Not included in itemized deductions either because you didn't itemize your deductions on the federal return, or because you didn't include some eligible expenses in your itemized medical expense deductions
Reimbursed and compensated insurance premiums like those paid with pretax dollars under cafeteria and similar benefit plans are also ineligible. Some of the expenses you may include are:
  1. Amounts paid as premiums under Part B of Title XVIII of the Social Security Act (Medicare)
  2. Amounts paid for a qualified long-term care insurance contract defined in Section 7702B(b) of the Internal Revenue Code
  3. Unreimbursed insurance premiums and co-payments not deducted for federal purposes. NOTE: Premiums paid with pretax dollars through payroll deductions are not eligible.

For purposes of this deduction:
  1. "Health Care Facility" means a hospital, outpatient facility, diagnostic and treatment center, rehabilitation center, free-standing hospice, physician's office, or other similar facility, regardless of location, where medical care is provided and which is licensed by any governmental entity;
  2. "Medical Care" means the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease, or care for the purpose of affecting any structure or function of the body;
  3. "Medical Care Expenses" means amounts paid for:
    • The diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease, or care for the purpose of affecting any structure or function of the body, if provided by a physician or in a health care facility. Cosmetic surgery is not eligible;
    • Prescribed drugs or insulin, and oxygen. A "prescribed drug" is a drug or biologically active substance for use in or on humans that requires a prescription or administration by a person licensed to do so. Costs for over-the-counter drugs are not eligible. Prescribed drugs for animals are not eligible;
    • Qualified long-term care services as defined in Section 7702B (c) of the Internal Revenue Code;
    • Insurance covering medical care, including amounts you paid as premiums under part B of Title XVIII of the Social Security Act (Medicare) or for a qualified long-term care insurance contract defined in Section 7702B (b) of the Internal Revenue Code, if the insurance or other amount is income for the tax year;
    • Nursing services, regardless of where the services are rendered, if provided by a practical nurse or a professional nurse licensed to practice in the state according to the Nursing Practice Act;
    • Specialized treatment or the use of special therapeutic devices if a physician prescribes the treatment or device, and the patient can show that the expense was incurred primarily for the prevention or alleviation of a physical or mental defect or illness. "Special therapeutic devices" include corrective eyeglasses, contact lenses and hearing aids prescribed by a physician. Expenses for guide dogs, however, are excluded;
    • Care in an institution other than a hospital, such as a sanitarium or rest home, if the principal reason for the presence of the person in the institution is to receive the medical care available. If the meals and lodging are a necessary part of such care, the cost of the meals and lodging are "medical care expenses."
  4. "Physician" means a medical doctor, osteopathic physician, dentist, podiatrist, chiropractic physician or psychologist licensed or certified to practice in New Mexico.

Physicians licensed or certified to practice in New Mexico are recognized. Also qualified are licensed practical nurses and registered professional nurses licensed in New Mexico. Costs of care provided by other health care professionals such as physical therapists, acupuncturists and others licensed by the New Mexico Department of Health are deductible only if the care was provided in their offices or at other qualified health care facilities.

An exception to the requirement for the doctor to be licensed or certified in New Mexico, applies when the medical expenses are for qualified long-term care services as defined in Section 7702B (c) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Keep full documentation of all medical care expenses for which you claim a deduction on this line. Do not send the documentation with your tax return. Keep your receipts in case you are selected for audit or verification of deductions claimed.

Married couples filing separately may claim only those expenses personally incurred. They may not claim any expenses the spouse has already claimed or plans to claim.

Do not claim payments to a veterinarian or veterinary clinic or any other expenses for family pets or other animals.

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