Department of Human Services

Food Stamp Online  Policy Manual

II. Treatment of Medical Expenses




Food Stamp Table of Contents

Medical Deductions Supplement


Section B

(1)   Averaging vs. Actual Medical Bills


When an individual has recurring medical expenses, he/she has an option to:


(a)   bring in the medical bills each month for a month by month deduction; or

(b)   have the medical expenses averaged.


To assist the client in making a choice, provide him/her with sufficient information to make an informed decision.


(2)   Averaging Recurring Medical Bills


If the client has a predictable pattern of medical expenses each month and/or has approximately the same amount of expenses each month it may be less cumbersome for the client if we average the expenses rather than consider them on a month by month basis.


In order to obtain an accurate average, have the household provide adequate verification of medical expense for the past three months, as a rule.


However, some medical expenses occur less frequently than monthly, but frequent enough to be averaged (ie. a prescription that is filled every 4 months). In these cases, verification for a longer period of time will be appropriate (4-6 months) in order to accurately average the expense.


(3)   Using Actual Expenses


The household has the option of using actual medical expenses on a month-by-month basis. Using the actual expenses may be more beneficial when the client is billed less often than monthly for an expense. This may happen if the household’s only allowable medical expense is a health insurance premium paid once every three months, or if the individual goes to the doctor only once every so many months. If the bills were averaged, the expense may be less than $35.00 per month, resulting in no deduction.


Note:  Once an expense has been allowed, it cannot be allowed again, regardless of whether the household actually paid it.


Example:  Mrs. Clark is eligible for a medical deduction, but the only medical expense she has is hospitalization insurance which is paid every 3 months. The insurance payment is not enough for a deduction if averaged monthly. In order to count the premium payment, she chooses to have the premium amount counted in the month the premium is billed.


Glossary of Terms


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