Any reason to keep laboratory invoices?
March 6, 2007 10:08 AM   Subscribe

Any reason to keep laboratory invoices?

I get these laboratory invoices from Quest Diagnostics. They list the lab services, how much they cost, the date of service, and my doctor. My insurance company is supposed to pay for the services, but I just have to remind them when these invoices come in. Should I keep them for any reason, financial or medical?
posted by beautiful to Health & Fitness (2 answers total)
Best answer: From a financial standpoint: keep them until you've received notification that your insurer has paid them. If your insurance coverage pays 100%, then discard the lab invoice once you're certain it's been paid. You are on the hook for the lab's invoice if your insurer doesn't pay, so you definitely want to keep track if it was paid off or not. (It's your name and contact info the lab will send to the collection agency if your stupid insurer lets the invoice slip through the cracks.)

Invoices aren't very useful as supporting documentation for taxes or for FSA claims but statements which show your out-of-pocket payments are worth keeping, at least until you file taxes for that year.

If your insurance pays less than 100% AND the statement/invoice shows co-/out-of-pocket payments received, save them until tax time on the chance the amount you pay out of pocket adds up to enough to take a deduction (which is generally unlikely for a healthy person/non-self-employed). If you can't take them in a deduction, you can toss them. If you do use them as a deduction, save them along with that year's tax forms as part of supporting documentation.

If you've got a FSA, and the statement shows a paid balance, hang onto it for your FSA claim or as supporting documentation for your FSA claim. You can discard it once you get the FSA check.

From a medical standpoint, the doctor who ordered the tests would keep the results on file (the results are the important part).
posted by jamaro at 11:18 AM on March 6, 2007 [1 favorite]

Keep them or you will end up like a friend of mine whose insurance company paid them but then the provider had no record of was a mess because she couldn't find her copy of the invoice. Keep it until it's all over and done with.
posted by Lockjaw at 12:15 PM on March 6, 2007

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