Managing medical bils?
February 12, 2008 8:09 PM   Subscribe

What is a good way to manage numerous medical bills and insurance EOBs?

I've recently starting requiring more medical care than I have been used to. Every visit to the doctor generates 2-3 statements being sent to me (depending on what gets done), then I get the "explanation of benefits" from my insurance company, then another bill from the doctor for what is not covered. I'm feeling like I should be managing this information more carefully, but am feeling swamped by the sheer amount of paperwork coming in. Does anyone have a good system that they use for managing these bills, statements, EOBs, and making sure that you are not paying more than you need to?
posted by daniboi1977 to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I actually work for an insurance company. Here is what I would suggest, if you are having trouble keeping up with them.

1) Get an accordion file or some manila folders and make one for each date of service you have.
2) When you get an EOB or bill place it in the folder for that date of service.
3) Make a spreadsheet and log the billed amount for each provider and date of service on a separate line. (Column A = Date of service, Column B = Provider name, Column C = Billed amount)
4) When you get an EOB deduct the write-offs and insurance payments.
5) When you get a bill, compare this to the spreadsheet to see if your insurance company has paid the charges or has said that you owe a portion.
6) Log any payments you make in the spreadsheet. If you have the option, make a copy of the check or put the cleared check from your bank in the folder.

This may sound like overkill, but if you are ill and stressed due to your treatments, I can guarantee that these options will help you keep everything straight.

Also, you can check to see if your insurance has any online resources that will allow you to see what has been submitted and/or paid. It helps if you misplace/don't get an EOB.
posted by slavlin at 8:41 PM on February 12, 2008

Here's the system I used when I administered benefits for others:

I file everything by the date of a treatment or doctor's visit. The first question the insurance company asks you (after they have confirmed who you are) is usually, "When was the date of treatment?"

If there are going to be a lot of multiple charge visits, I use an Excel spreadsheet. My columns are:

-Date of treatment
-Total charged amount
-EOB received?
-Amount insurance paid?
-I owe provider how much?
-Has this been paid?

I just staple related paperwork together and always put the EOB on top. For example, statements and EOB's from a hospital stay on 1/10/06 would be stapled like this:

-one pile for statements and EOB related to hospital charges on 1/10/06
-one pile for statements and EOB related to anesthesiologist on 1/10/06
-one pile for statements and EOB related to visiting physician on 1/10/06

If an EOB covers more than one provider, I am picky enough that I either copy the EOB for more than one pile or use a plain piece of paper to write the EOB information related to that provider and those charges to use as a "psuedo" EOB record.

If I need to talk to my insurance company or a provider, I can pull the relevant paperwork quickly from my file by date and the identifying info on the EOB.

If I need a summary of treatments, charges and what I have paid so far out of pocket, I go to my Excel spreadsheet. I also use the Excel spreadsheet to calculate Health Care Reimbursement Account submissions and medical charges for my income taxes (if applicable).

This system has always worked for me. YMMV.
posted by jeanmari at 8:42 PM on February 12, 2008

posted by crinklebat at 8:09 AM on February 13, 2008

1) Get an accordion file or some manila folders and make one for each date of service you have.
2) When you get an EOB or bill place it in the folder for that date of service.

Just a thought... It's not uncommon for insurance carriers to make a single payment and remit an EOB for several dates of service (as long as it is all the same claim #), which would make this a little bit tough to do. This is usually due to DR's office not submitting bills daily, or adjusters batching bills by claim for a specific period.
posted by tdischino at 10:47 AM on February 13, 2008

Oh, man, Ah feel your pain. I've had as many as 7 sheets of paper for a single service. Hope you're still checking the thread.

I made custom "post it" type thingies-- I just print them on labels, with the following check boxes:

___ Received medical provider statement
___ Received Explanation of Benefits
___ Received provider bill
___ Submitted to insurance (nB: I have to do this because our insurance works through a health savings account, and reimburses me rather than paying the provider direct. Just in case it's not already complex and confusing enough.)
___ Rec'd insurance ruling or check
___ Pay bill

I just adhere it to the first piece of paper that comes in for any given service and pay it when every line has been checked off. All papers for any given service are clipped together.

I also keep a spreadsheet as follows, so I know what to report to the IRS:

/ Billed amount /less covered by deductible / less covered by HRA/=out of pocket
posted by nax at 5:16 PM on February 14, 2008

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