If you own a small business and file a Schedule C, you might be able to include health insurance as a business deduction. If your spouse works for the company on a part-time basis, you can pay him or her a nominal salary, with the extra benefit of full family health insurance coverage.

In one step you accomplish two goals: You put your spouse to work, and you get full health insurance -- medical and dental, if desired -- as a 100% covered benefit. Without spousal employment, you only receive a 70% health insurance credit, for a 30% tax savings, instead of the full write off on Schedule C and lower social security taxes.Spouses actually have to work to earn the nominal salary. A $1,000 token annual salary with a $10,000 health insurance benefit might be reasonable payment for someone who works six hours a week.

--Howard Scott is a business writer and small business tax preparer in Pembroke, Mass.