Cost of tax-exempt health benefits in 1998

Health Aff (Millwood). 1999 Mar-Apr;18(2):176-81. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.18.2.176.


The tax expenditure for health benefits is the amount of revenues that the federal government forgoes by exempting the following from the federal income and Social Security taxes: (1) employer health benefits contribution, (2) health spending under flexible spending plans, and (3) the tax deduction for health expenses. The health tax expenditure was $111.2 billion in 1998. This figure varied from $2,357 per family among those with annual incomes of $100,000 or more to $71 per family among those with annual incomes of less than $15,000. Families with incomes of $100,000 or more (10 percent of the population) accounted for 23.6 percent of all tax expenditures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Financing, Personal / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Benefit Plans, Employee / economics*
  • Health Expenditures / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Income / statistics & numerical data
  • Income Tax / economics*
  • Tax Exemption*
  • United States