If you and your family are in good health – and remain so – then organizing your health insurance documents is probably not a priority in your busy life. As a time-strapped mom, there are a million and one other things you need to do, of course.
But when someone gets sick, injured, or needs medical attention, It can be an incredibly stressful time. You certainly won’t have the time to find, order, and rearrange all your medical insurance documents, and you run the risk of being overcharged or missing out on the opportunity to appeal any discrepancies.
With this in mind, today we are going to run through a foolproof system that won’t take long, and ensure your health insurance documents are in full order and ready for any medical problem.
Arrange the paperwork
The first step is to get all your health insurance paperwork in one place. Open everything and put them in date order, from the oldest first to the most recent – and don’t forget to print off any email communications. The next step is to go through the bills and arrange them into different sections. Separate the letters from your insurance company, the hospital medical billing services, and doctors and labs. Put them in a file with labeled dividers for each section.
Go through your insurance information.
Next, pull together all your insurance information – the name of your coverage all the way through to the small print. Next, head over to the insurance company website and print out your coverage handbook – in full. You should also print out all medical procedure codes just so you have an easy-to-access guide to any illness or medical problem that you or your family might encounter in the future.
Pull in your bills and receipts.
Hopefully, your bills and receipts are all in a safe place – you should keep them for at least five years. Speak to your tax preparer if you are struggling to find them all, and also consider making copies of everything to cover you in the event you lose or have to send off an original. Also, make a section in your file so you can keep copies of any lab reports and test results.
Make a health insurance diary.
The next step is to make some space in your file to create a diary. Use it every time you speak to your insurance company, either on the telephone or via a letter or email. Write down the date, the name of the advisor, and a brief note of the conversation.
Once you have everything in the one place, you’ll find it much easier to deal with any insurance claims or queries – and ensure you don’t end up overpaying. It’s also important to get into the habit of checking your explanation of benefits form (EOB) on a regular basis. According to research, somewhere in the region of 90% of Americans are paying for insurance services they don’t actually need!
Hope this has helped – why not share your health insurance organization tips?