Thinking long-term about health care

Our medical needs don’t get any easier as we get older, so it is increasingly important that we take advantage of the options that are available.

Fall is when open enrollment season begins for health insurance coverage, but retirees and aging Americans also can take advantage of open enrollment for Medicare plans.

The open enrollment period for Medicare runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 and allows plan members to:

  • Switch from Original (Traditional) Medicare (Parts A and B) to Medicare Advantage (Part C) or vice versa;
  • Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another; and
  • Switch from one drug plan (Part D) to another.

For those who have Medicare coverage, it is important to revisit your health and drug coverage choices each year since your health needs may have changed since first enrolling. Furthermore, there are some changes to prescription drug coverage and Medicare Advantage plans for 2020. has launched a new plan finder tool where you can learn more about the plans available. If you are on Medicare or are about to turn 65 and will enroll for the first time, be sure to evaluate the plans closely, not only for cost, but for coverage options and flexibility and availability of health care providers in your network.

One way to help save money on health insurance costs is to select a supplemental Medigap policy that can be used to pay for co-payments and deductibles. The open enrollment period for supplemental Medigap is six months following enrollment in Medicare Part B. Medigap policies are available only for those who have Medicare Parts A and B. It is not available for those with Medicare Advantage.

Looking long-term

It is expected that each of us will need long-term medical care for either ourselves, a spouse or a parent. According to some estimates, half of all seniors will need long-term care.

For those caring for loved ones with long-term care, there are some important tax implications to consider.

Long-term care costs and premiums are treated as medical expenses and may be deducted by individuals as itemized deductions. The deductions can be claimed as long as medical costs exceed 10 percent of your adjusted gross income.

Self-employed individuals, however, can often deduct long-term care insurance premiums, as well as Medicare premiums, as an adjustment to income on Form 1040 without having to itemize.

In order for the deductions to qualify, the insurance policy must meet certain requirements:

  • It can cover only long-term care services. The policy cannot be a hybrid policy that combines life insurance with long-term care coverage.
  • The policy must be renewable.
  • Any cash surrender value cannot be paid, assigned, pledged or borrowed.
  • Refunds and dividends under the policy generally must be used to reduce future premiums or increase future benefits.
  • The policy cannot pay costs that would be paid under Medicare, unless Medicare is a secondary payer.
  • Per diem or other periodic payments without regard to expenses are prohibited.

Long-term care costs can be deducted for persons who are chronically ill, which means that person is unable to perform at least two activities of daily living, such as eating or bathing, without help for at least 90 days. This also includes those suffering from dementia or another severe cognitive impairment.

In order to take the deduction for long-term care, the care must be for medically necessary services that are rehabilitative, diagnostic, preventive, therapeutic, and other services.

The cost of meals and lodging at an assisted living facility or a nursing home may also be deductible if the main reason for being there is to get medical care.

While these costs can be deducted from taxes, the write-off amount is capped depending on a person’s age, with the deduction amount increasing for older taxpayers.


Maximum Deduction Amount

71 years and older $5,270 per person
61 to 70 years $4,220 per person
51 to 60 years $1,580 per person
41 to 50 years $790 per person
40 years and younger $420 per person


An adult child can claim a medical expense deduction on his or her own tax return for the cost of a parent’s care if that child can claim the parent as a dependent.

Caring for a loved one with a chronic illness can be emotionally and financially draining. Please let us know how we can help you during this time.

Carolyn J. Allen, CPA, is a Tax Manager with Antares Group, Inc. She can be reached at


Recent Articles:

Follow Antares CPAs:

Thank you for registering!

You will receive an email confirmation soon, and we look forward to seeing you at the Antares Wealth Symposium.

Make your room reservation now.

Use the link below to get a special room rate at the gorgeous Hotel Contessa where our symposium is being held.

Save my place!

Complete this short form to reserve your place at the free Antares Wealth Symposium. Watch for your confirmation email and we look forward to seeing you in San Antonio.

Contact Info
Guest Info

To help with meal planning, please indicate how many from your group will be attending each event.

Monday Dinner

Tuesday Breakfast

Tuesday Lunch

Dietary Restrictions
Other Accommodations
Contact Info
Guest Info

To help with meal planning, please indicate how many from your group will be attending each event.

Monday Dinner

Tuesday Breakfast

Tuesday Lunch

Dietary Restrictions
Other Accommodations

Succession & Transition Strategies

Creating a successful succession plan is about protecting the future of a business and/or brand and ensuring there is a strategy in place to ensure your business continues to thrive.

After years of investing time, money and other resources, it’s imperative to prepare for this next stage in business and life. Poor planning can increase risks for stakeholders and tarnish legacies. Let’s make sure the next generation is well-equipped and ready to take your life’s work and family legacy to an even greater level of success.

Each situation is unique because the needs of each one involved are unique. We carefully review each opportunity to determine how best to structure a transition while meeting your goals, complying with any brand licensing polices and minimizing the tax implications of the transfer.

  • Next generation succession planning
  • Retirement planning
  • Wealth management

Let's get started.

Call us at 770.785.7855 Or email

Technology Services

Antares Group’s technology team provides convenient hardware and software support, along with comprehensive cloud accounting services with 24/7 access to up-to-date financial information exactly the way you want it, on any connected device, with a customizable dashboard interface. We use best-in class cloud accounting platforms and software including Sage Intacct, and robot process automation (RPA) with integration capabilities with some of the leading point-of-sale, payroll, and business operations management software programs.

Cloud accounting is just the beginning; Antares Group’s experienced technology team also performs system evaluations and makes recommendations for products and services that will help your business run more efficiently, as well as protecting your information and infrastructure with robust security options. Using the right technology for automation will simplify your life and keep your valuable data safe..

  • Technology and security optimization
  • Complete cloud accounting services
  • Computer troubleshooting assistance with remote and onsite repair

Let's get started.

Call us at 770.785.7855 Or email

Business Planning & Valuation

An accurate understanding of your company’s current value and financial viability is vital for achieving business success and the launch pad to boundless possibilities in the years to come. Realistic valuations are essential for long-term strategic plans, business successions and expansions, gift and estate planning, and a lucrative retirement package. Planning for where you want to go in the future is what our business and tax advisors do best. Whatever your goals, we are here to provide you with the right plan and insightful guidance to achieve it.

  • Trend reporting and analysis and business valuation
  • General business and start-up consulting
  • Major reinvestment planning
  • Cash flow projections

Let's get started.

Call us at 770.785.7855 Or email

Back Office Solutions

In such a fast-moving business environment, business owners need every advantage to succeed. Improving efficiency should be an ongoing part of your strategy for financial success, empowering you to make continuous improvements.

Whether your business is a single location seeking to grow effectively and sustainably, an established franchise brand adding new locations, or something in between, Antares Group provides a suite of back office services and the financial expertise to help business owners and managers achieve their operational and financial goals. In the process of supporting your essential back office operations with practical solutions, we analyze the function and effectiveness, looking for inefficiencies and potential liabilities, offering valuable insights for owners and managers.

  • Daily deposit verification and online banking monitoring
  • Process invoices and code general ledger accounts
  • Process vendor payments and file 1099s
  • Prepare and file sales and use tax returns
  • Reconcile bank, credit card and cashless sales accounts

Let's get started.

Call us at 770.785.7855 Or email

Tax Advisory

Minimizing your tax burden is a year-round strategy; planning for and preparing complex business and individual tax returns is where Antares Group excels. Beyond simply helping you fulfill basic tax obligations, you can rely on our tax advisory team to keep you informed of ever-changing regulations and keep you in compliance. We conduct regular reviews to make sure all methods of reducing your tax liabilities are being used. We routinely assess your personal income tax situation and cash flow to guard against the unexpected. This ongoing strategic analysis empowers you to maximize tax savings and capitalize on new opportunities.

In addition, we provide advisory services for new business startups, acquisitions, and dispositions. Through careful analysis, we help clients determine the best structure and make the process as seamless as possible.

  • Business and individual year-end tax returns
  • Personal property, gift, and trust income tax returns
  • Fixed asset setup and maintenance
  • Annual tax planning and preparation

Let's get started.

Call us at 770.785.7855 Or email

Cloud Accounting

Whether you run a small closely held business or a large franchise operation, maintaining a firm grasp of accounting and bookkeeping can be challenging. Between managing staff and overseeing daily operations, there is not enough time to dig into the books and make sense of the financials. You need to know the facts and the implications. – having precise, up-to-date information at hand means you always know your financial position so you can make informed decisions that keep your business moving forward.

The financial experts at Antares can create a custom menu of accounting and tax services perfectly catered to your business needs, including accurate and timely financial statements and reports, so you are always prepared to respond quickly to changing and challenging circumstances. Along the way, we provide clear feedback and financial guidance to help you predict trends and recognize issues, then make the necessary adjustments to sustain cash flow throughout the year.

  • Timely preparation of financial statements based on your particular needs
  • Complete preparation of sales, payroll, inventory, accrual, and prepaid journal entries
  • Meticulous monthly bank and credit card reconciliations

Antares Cloud Accounting services uses industry leading Sage Intacct managment software to provide the precise, up-to-date information you need to always know your financial position, so you can make well-informed decisions.

Call us at 770.785.7855 Or email