18 Additional deduction for health insurance premium paid for parents
18.1 Pre-amended section 80D of the Income-tax Act provides for a deduction of up to fifteen thousand rupees to an assessee, being an individual or a Hindu undivided family. The deduction is allowed for making a payment to effect or keep in force an insurance on,-
(a) the health of the assessee or on the health of the wife or husband, dependent parents or dependent children of the assessee where the assessee is an individual;
(b) the health of any member of the family where the assessee is a Hindu undivided family.
18.2 In case the assessee or any other member of the family, on whose health the insurance has been effected or kept in force, is a senior citizen, the deduction allowed is up to twenty thousand rupees.
18.3 Since health insurance cover for the elderly comes at a relatively higher price, it is necessary to encourage individual assessees to supplement the efforts of their parents in getting themselves medically insured. Accordingly, an additional deduction of up to fifteen thousand rupees has been allowed to an assessee, being an individual, on any payment made to effect or keep in force insurance on the health of his parent or parents. The existing condition of ‘dependent’ with respect to parents has been dispensed with. This deduction is in addition to the existing deduction available to the individual assessee on medical insurance for himself, his spouse and dependent children. Further, if either of the individual assessee’s parents, who has been medically insured, is a senior citizen, the deduction would be allowed up to twenty thousand rupees.
18.4 For example, an individual assessee pays (through any mode other than cash) during the previous year medical insurance premia, out of his taxable income, as under:
(i) Rs 12,000/- to keep in force an insurance policy on his health and on the health of his wife and dependent children;
(ii) Rs 17,000/- to keep in force an insurance policy on the health of his parents.
18.5 Under the new provisions he will be allowed a deduction of Rs 27,000/- (Rs. 12,000/- + Rs. 15,000/-) if neither of his parents is a senior citizen. However, if any of his parents is a senior citizen, he will be allowed a deduction of Rs 29,000/- (Rs.12,000/- + Rs.17,000/). Whether the parents are dependent or not, is not a consideration for deciding the deduction under the new provisions.
18.6 Further, in the above example, if cost of insurance on the health of the parents is Rs 30,000/-, out of which Rs 17,000/- is paid (by any non-cash mode) by the son and Rs 13,000/- by the father ( who is a senior citizen), out of their respective taxable income, the son will get a deduction of Rs 17,000/- ( in addition to the deduction of Rs 12,000/- for the medical insurance on self and family) and the father will get a deduction of Rs 13,000/-.
18.7 Applicability – This amendment has been made applicable with effect from the 1st day of April, 2009 and will accordingly apply in relation to assessment year 2009-10 and subsequent assessment years.
Extract from Explanatory Notes to The Provisions of the Finance Act, 2008 vide circular no. 1/ 2009, dated 27th Mar, 2009.