How To Track Of Your Claims For Medical Bills: A Simple Method
If you are in a health plan that requires you or your doctor to file a claim, it is part of your job as an educated health care consumer is to keep track of your medical bills. By keeping track of your bills, you will:
- Know how much your out-of-pocket costs are for purposes of creating a budget and for tax purposes.
- Save money by making sure you?re not being overcharged for services.
- Avoid problems with medical creditors, who are often persistent and quick to report late payments to a credit bureau.
- Save valuable time.
There are many ways to set up a medical bill paying system. It is advisable to to use a system that is easy for you and simple enough that others can step in and take over if necessary. With a good system, you'll always know the status of every claim from the day you incur a charge to the day you or your doctor receives payment
Click here to learn about an easy-to-use system which is also very inexpensive. All it takes are five manila folders and shuffling bills between folders. (If you are covered under more than one health policy, click here.)
Click here for suggested steps for using this system.
Alternative means of keeping track of your bills include the following:
- Creating your own system on your computer in programs such as Excel with a variety of columns, or in a word processing program where you move entries from section to section by cutting and pasting them. (Microsoft has a template for using Excel to keep track of medical expenses available at: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/patient-s-medical-bill-tracker-TC001071388.aspx
- Computer software programs such as Quicken's Medical Bill Tracker, which is marketed as Quicken Medical.
- Follow on the insurance company's web site if it has such a feature.
- More and more insurance companies are making claims information available via the Internet. Tracking the progress of your claims should be made easier if your insurance company has this system. However, since there is no standard format, the information and its accessibility vary from company to company.
- To determine if your company provides internet claims tracking, enter the name of your insurance company (or administrator) in a search engine such as Google, Yahoo, Ask or Dogpile.
- Ask a friend or family member to help keep track of your medical bills.
- Hire a claims professional.