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After a few grueling hours filling out health insurance forms, my eyes crossed and I knew it was time to quit for the day. However, although I hadn't moved from my seat, I had misplaced a few pages of the forms! The next day, I had this idea:
Instead of losing a page "in plain sight" I made a "scratch copy" of it and clipped off a corner of each page I needed to turn in. The pages were instantly visible on the desk, and locating the pages was so much easier. Hope this helps someone else out there!
By Jane from Baltimore, MD
If your medical insurance requires you to pay for doctors visits, etc. and then file a claim for reimbursement, make yourself a master claim form. Type in all the usual required info, such as your name, date of birth, policy number, etc. Then have blanks labeled "doctor's name", "date of office visit", etc. Store this in your word processor, or print it out and make copies. Then when you have an expense to file with the insurance company, you already have a head start on completing the form! The sooner you get your claim filed, the sooner that money will come back to you.
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I am absolutely weighted down with keeping track of paperwork related to Medicare and supplemental insurance, also pharmacy receipts. Does anyone have a system that is easy to follow? There are two of us.
I reuse the large envelopes all that stuff comes in. To do that, open those envelopes with a letter opener. Cut off part of the top to make a tab that is taller than the rest, and write on the tab what is in that one. Keep various things in their own envelope. You can also jot notes on the outside about what is in there.
The other suggestion I would make, is put dates on the outside. I hope this helps as this can soon become an unmanageable pile of paper.
I shred and trash mine after I look of discrepancies or false claims. I've been on medicare for 6 years now and have never saved them. Unless there is something I'm not aware of, I see no need in keeping them. I have a friend older than me and she said she's never saved hers either. When my Mom passed I found a "ton" of hers and found no use for them.
I have a three file folders each for both my husband and me. One is our Social Security, non-medical Medicare information, another is a medical file for myself and one for my husband. I place all our doctor visits, along with the EOB (explanation of benefits) and Medicare payment information attached to each visit. Then the last folder is for our drug coverage and the EOB received for the monthly prescriptions.
I have found that saving our medical information and payments to be very helpful.
When his mother lived with us, she had several visits to doctors and hospitals. I created a file folder for each visit and was then able to keep track of what she owed, her co-pays and deductibles. At one point she was referred to doctors out of her network (she has an Advantage plan which we found out did not pay anything for out-of-network).
Keeping all her information in separate folders made it much easier to keep track of what she owed and didn't owe. We were also able to "appeal" her insurance company's decision to not pay out of network and are just now receiving EOBs showing that they are paying the claims for those two days.
Without those EOBs and Medicare information, she would have had to pay those bills herself and they amounted to a couple of thousand dollars.
You have to treat this stuff like you work in an office and create file folders to refer back to. Hope this helps.
My parents saved them for 20 years. They had boxes and boxes of them. I look at them and throw them away. I have never had to use one for anything. The medicare one tells you a claim has been made and how much will be paid on it. If you have supplement, the statements tell you how much they will be paying.
Once the doctor has been paid you no longer need these statements. Saving them is useless and space consuming. If in an unusual circumstance you would need one and don't have it, you can get another copy from medicare or your supplement.
I keep a separate folder for each category and each category is kept in chronological order. I go through the folders every now and then and shred the ones that are older than one year. I would suggest you do separate folders for both you and your husband to help keep things from getting confusing.
As for pharmacy receipts, you really don't need to keep those because you can get a computer printout of what you purchased and the cost from your pharmacist should you ever need them. They can print out one year of records or more.
For those who find keeping these records as being useless, please know that if anyone receives any sort of supplemental assistance (including help with paying for Medicare Part B and D, for food or housing, utilities, etc) are sometimes required to supply copies of one years worth of some of this information annually.