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Insurance premiums paid out of pocket for medical and dental (which are very expensive) are deductible. However, all of your yearly medical and dental expenses must total more than 7.5% of your adjusted gross income in order to benefit you.
The premiums you pay through your paycheck are not deducted on your return, but they are considered "pre-tax" deductions from your paycheck, which is a good thing! Unfortunately you don't have this option with Cobra, since while you are paying it you are not participating in an employer's pre-tax plan.
I agree that the 7.5% limitation is unfair, but, that is the rule for deduction of medical/dental expenses on your return. There is no where on the return to claim medical expenses separately, with the exception of those who are self-employed and pay their own medical premiums. However, since you were between employers, you cannot use this exception.
The premiums you pay through your paycheck are not deductible on your return, because they are paid with "pre-tax" funds---but you are right, in effect they are tax deductible. Unfortunately, you don't have this option to pay your Cobra benefits with this method.
I agree that the 7.5% limitation is unfair, but that is the rule for medical expense deduction. There is no where else on the return to deduct medical expenses, with the exception of self-employed individuals. This exception does not apply to you because you were between employers.
I would total your Cobra, vision, dental, copays, prescriptions, etc. (even medical mileage is deductibele) in order to get the maximum benefit from your medical deduction.