Efforts to create an above-the-line deduction for long term care premiums just got a major boost.[@@]

An LTC provision is included in a bipartisan bill aimed at creating a “living memorial” honoring the former President Ronald Reagan. The number of the bill, the Ronald Reagan Alzheimer’s Breakthrough Act of 2004, is not yet available.

Although most of the bill focuses on increasing funding for Alzheimer’s research and establishing a public education campaign, the bill also contains the LTC language long sought by the insurance industry.

An above-the-line deduction for LTC coverage would be available to all taxpayers, including those who do not itemize.

The primary co-sponsors of the bill are Sens. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., and Christopher Bond, R-Mo.

Mikulski says the bill would address both the emotional cost and financial cost of Alzheimer’s disease.

Jack Dolan, a representative of the American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, says the legislation demonstrates bipartisan support for LTC tax incentives.

The effort to establish incentives is truly gaining momentum, Dolan says.