Is a Medical Alert System Tax Deductible?

Is a Medical Alert System Tax Deductible?

time icon 4 min read update icon Sept. 17, 2019


The short answer to whether medical alert devices and systems are tax deductible is no. There are, however, other ways to score tax write-offs while simultaneously maximizing safety in and around the home.


While the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS, does not explicitly accept itemized tax returns with deductions for medical alert devices or systems, they do allow older adults to score tax write-offs for medical expenses. This means that the IRS does allow seniors to write off costs associated with maintaining medical alert systems. 

Thus, older adults should keep all receipts and bills for paying a monthly subscription fee for their medical alert system, so that they can deduct those costs come April. There are, of course, even more, creative solutions that pre-retirees and post-retirees can consider to stretch their dollars still further.

Maximizing Tax Deductions And Safety With Medical Alert Systems

Independent seniors are strongly encouraged to look into every type of tax break possible to ensure they get the biggest bang for their hard-earned buck. These folks are strongly encouraged to alert their physician or primary care provider about their intention to seek tax relief under the medical expenses umbrella, as those personnel might be required to furnish key data during an audit. 

Partnering with healthcare providers could also help seniors justify even more savings if a doctor were to recommend they make minor changes to their homes. To wit, widening doorframes, modifying showers, upgrading toilets and installing handrails are also considered tax deductible. Creating a paper trail with one’s doctor is always a good idea when attempting to minimize taxes.


  • Get smart:  Seniors should not be discouraged when it comes paying fewer age-based taxes. The IRS expects older folks to write off costs for equipment, supplies and diagnostic systems that are prescribed by a physician for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment and prevention of disease.
  • Nursing homes and assisted living:  Many seniors might fear asking to be moved to an assisted living facility or nursing home, as the costs can be prohibitive. While the annual cost of care varies from state to state, such expenses are deductible. The cost and quality of a live-in nurse or caregiver could also lead an older adult to feel more at peace and, thus have a better and safer quality of living.
  • Home sale:  Seniors that continue to live alone but have had significant medical emergencies in the past may be at a loss of confidence and, ironically, an increased risk of another spill. When older adults do not feel safe or confident in their homes, they might be more prone to overcorrecting movements or minimizing their time away from the house, which can also adversely impact their mental health, well-being and overall happiness. Thus, if the older adult does decide to move to an assisted living community and sell his or her home, then be sure they write off that sale for a big tax break come the following year.
  • Move to tax havens:  A senior might consider moving to a state that is more tax friendly than their current location. Such locations include Georgia, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Alaska and Wyoming.
  • Programs:  There are a number of programs that look to help seniors maximize their tax deductions every year. Veterans can utilize a number of government-based entities and civilians have access to free counsel through most tax preparation services, including TurboTax and H&R Block.

There are many ways to maximize tax deductions each April by contributing to retirement funds, maintaining receipts for medical or dental expenses, keeping business receipts, donating to charities and continuing to invest. Seniors should also consider using Medicare, Medicaid or other government-based payment systems to continue the use of a medical alert device or system. 

Even if the IRS does not reimburse out-of-pocket expenses for medical alert devices, many insurance companies might. In conclusion, and despite medical alert systems not being tax deductible by the IRS, there are still several top-notch, tax-reducing strategies that an older adult can use to make sure they continue to live happily, independently and safely.

Kate Papenberg - Senior Advisor

Kate is senior researcher with Grandfolk® providing in-depth product and service reviews to empower senior buying decisions.