Author Topic: How do you keep records of your medical bills?  (Read 739 times)

MrsPete

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How do you keep records of your medical bills?
« on: July 16, 2017, 07:05:44 PM »
It's happened YET AGAIN.  I paid a medical bill, I have a confirmation # to prove I paid it, I paid it weeks ago so they should have credited my account ... yet here comes the same bill in the mail again.  This time I happen to still have the bill in the front of my calendar, but this happens to me at least once a year, and it's a complete waste of my time to dig through the online banking program to find copies of my checks.

I cannot make them do better on their end, so the "right answer" is I need to set up a system to keep good records of our medical bills.  Does anyone have a good system I could adapt or adopt? 

My thoughts: 
- I'm leaning towards a paper notebook. 
- I'm thinking of creating a monthly-calendar ... when we go to the doctor /receive some medical service, we'd write it down on the calendar (on the date of service):  Mom to doctor, Strep throat.  and when I pay a bill, I'd write down (on the date of payment) Paid Mom's 7/16/18 Strep throat visit over the phone, confirmation #. 
- I don't want to maintain a bunch of bills in the notebook. 

Thoughts?  I don't have my brain around this project yet and am very open to ideas.


Frankies Girl

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Re: How do you keep records of your medical bills?
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2017, 07:22:52 PM »
I pay online using a credit card unless they charge a service fee. In that case, I'll call them directly to see if I can pay over the phone (by card) for free, last choice is send a paper check.

I used to keep physical paper copies, but moved over to just writing it down in my computer's calendar. Enter the date you paid, then add in all the details. Calendar app is searchable, and you can put in long notes, so room to add things like: card used, name of person who processed payment, time called, confirmation #, check #, etc...

If I pay in person and get a receipt, I staple it to the bill and throw it in a dedicated medical bills basket, to be gone through around tax time.
I frequently have no idea what I'm talking about. Like now.

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farfromfire

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Re: How do you keep records of your medical bills?
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2017, 12:51:41 AM »
If you're willing to scan them and cataloguing the images (either on your own or using software such as Money Manager Ex), it would be much easier to search through them.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: How do you keep records of your medical bills?
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2017, 06:01:18 AM »
If it's not reimbursable:

1. Receive bill, pay

2. Enter into YNAB (under 'medical')

3. Write payment details (date, payment modality) on my copy of bill

4. Put bill in my file called "Taxes 2017"

If it's reimbursable:

1. Receive bill, pay

2. Enter into YNAB (under 'Reimbursable')

3. Write payment details on my copy of the bill

4. Put bill in my file called 'Reimbursable'

5. Every so often, look in the latter folder. If not yet reimbursed, nag for reimbursement. Once reimbursed, move the paper to 'Taxes 2017' and the YNAB item to 'Reimbursed'.

If party's record-keeping proves abysmal

1. I send an invoice to them, for managing the files. Then they start doing their work properly.

Secretly Saving

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Re: How do you keep records of your medical bills?
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2017, 07:20:41 AM »
I used Evernote!

Greystache

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Re: How do you keep records of your medical bills?
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2017, 08:00:17 AM »
I have a high-deductible plan with an HSA. I pay all my medical bills with my HSA debit card. My online HSA account shows all of my payments and I can call it up anytime from anywhere. Never had a problem.

frugaliknowit

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Re: How do you keep records of your medical bills?
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2017, 02:35:44 PM »
Scan, then file on 2 drives under "medical"

farfromfire

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Re: How do you keep records of your medical bills?
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2017, 02:32:36 AM »
I have a high-deductible plan with an HSA. I pay all my medical bills with my HSA debit card. My online HSA account shows all of my payments and I can call it up anytime from anywhere. Never had a problem.
I'm glad you have a good system that works for you, but it might be better to invest the HSA, pay out of pocket now, and then use the (much larger) HSA in the future to reimburse yourself for the past bills. In this case it's important to save the bills (or scans) for many years.

http://www.madfientist.com/ultimate-retirement-account/

nottoolatetostart

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Re: How do you keep records of your medical bills?
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2017, 04:50:42 AM »
I have a high-deductible plan with an HSA. I pay all my medical bills with my HSA debit card. My online HSA account shows all of my payments and I can call it up anytime from anywhere. Never had a problem.
I'm glad you have a good system that works for you, but it might be better to invest the HSA, pay out of pocket now, and then use the (much larger) HSA in the future to reimburse yourself for the past bills. In this case it's important to save the bills (or scans) for many years.

http://www.madfientist.com/ultimate-retirement-account/

We do the same. I just pay out of pocket and let the account grow tax free. This account, that we have been maxing out for years, is my "do not break" exceot for case of emergency piggy bank.

CindyBS

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Re: How do you keep records of your medical bills?
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2017, 06:56:15 AM »
We have a lot of medical bills (we use about $100K of medical care a month).  I am also not working due to the medical crisis, so our ability to save is limited.  The way we use our HSA is that the money gets deposited tax free.  I pay said bill with a credit card to get the cash back rewards, then make a claim against the HSA.   It is a way to save even if you can't hold money in the HSA for a long time. 

I think we'll start using the HSA as a savings account as when we get back on our feet.

Mr. Green

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Re: How do you keep records of your medical bills?
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2017, 09:40:52 AM »
I use credit card statements for all bill tracking. It's very hard to argue that a line item on a credit card is false. Hand written notes are not proof that a bill was paid but a credit card company's records sure are! :)
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MrsPete

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Re: How do you keep records of your medical bills?
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2017, 11:19:29 AM »
Thanks for the thoughts, y'all. 

- I'm really not into the idea of a computer-based system.  As I said initially, I'm interested in keeping this in a notebook.  I want it to be equally accessible to both me and my husband, and I don't care to have it on anything cloud-based (though I do like EverNote for less personal items). 

- I am not overly concerned about "searchable".  We have only one child still living at home, and she'll be out of college in two more years.  Realistically, the system I'm trying to create is just about the two of us.

- $100,000/month in medical bills.  WOW.  I do hope this is a very short-term issue.

- Paying with a credit card (for points) and then charging back against the HSA makes perfect sense.  We don't have a whole lot of medical bills, but I do love points.  When paying a medical bill with a credit card, the deal is to keep good records.  When I called about this already-paid bill, it was quick and easy because I was able to say, "I paid on 6-28-17, and my confirmation # is ..."  Likewise, if you've paid with a check, if you know the date, it's easy to find that check in your online banking.

- The best information I've found is on a website:  http://beaststwo.org/med_trans/    ... she's keeping hers on a computer, but the format is quite complete (and that's what I realize now I was really looking for).  I'm going to create a paper version of this.