NU Online News Service, Feb. 6, 2004, 5:45 p.m. EST – The American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, likes the Bush administration’s 2005 budget.[@@]

The budget includes an “above the line” deduction for long term care insurance premiums and provides an extra personal exemption for taxpayers who care for chronically ill family members at home.

“We commend this administration for encouraging families to take advantage of long term care protection, which can help safeguard their hard-earned savings and assets from the prohibitive costs of long term care,” ACLI President Frank Keating says in a statement. “Americans need to take greater responsibility for securing their own financial futures, and long term care insurance is a key to providing that economic security.”

The above-the-line federal tax deduction would make an LTC premium deduction available to taxpayers who do not itemize medical expenses and other expenses on their tax returns.

Today, individuals can deduct LTC premiums only if they itemize and only if they spend more than 7% of their income on medical expenses.