Getting Organized: Medical Bills

Organize medical bills, test results and moreAs I look into the future, I know I want it to be less cluttered than life is now. I flip-flop between feeling reassured that once we have more space, things will feel less cluttered and living in fear that big new house means so many more spaces to clutter up.

I’ve realized that one of the largest sources of paper clutter is the never-ending stream of medical bills, invoices, and EOBs from our insurance company. I tend to let it build up and then here’s how I tackle it.

It sounds kind of old skool here on the doorstep of 2012, but that’s how I roll with certain things. I don’t do banking or medical stuff online. Do you?

I developed a spreadsheet listing patient name, date of visit, doctor seen and brief explanation of the problem. For each visit, I also record our expected payment, actual payment, date paid and the form of payment.

This may sound like a lot of work,but believe me it’s a lot more work trying to remember which family member saw which doctor on what date, etc when the bill arrives weeks or even months later.

But what about all that paperwork? For years I kept it in a boring old three-ring binder. I used sticky notes to create tabbed sections for doctors, dentists, prescriptions, etc. But a couple of years ago I received a review sample of KnockKnock’s snazzy medical organizer pictured above.

It’s got the basic three rings and so much more, like dividers with pockets to hold, say, a CD with MRI results. It comes with pre-printed divider tabs with categories I didn’t know I needed, but do. And I love the handy notepad tucked up front that helps your plan questions and checklists for upcoming doctor visits.

Each January, I empty the previous year’s’ content into a file folder and start fresh and empty. Even though it’s not so very different than what I created on my own, I’ve developed quite a fondness for this organizer over time. Kind of like how the food in vending machines is always more tantalizing than what you already packed for a snack.

How do you tame the paper tigers around your house? Your tip may be featured in a future post.

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