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Medicare: Keeping Track Of Your Medicare Bills: A Simple Method

An Easy Tracking System

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There are many ways to set up a medical bill paying system. Just make sure it's easy for you to use and simple enough that others could step in and take over for you 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.

To give you an idea of a simple medical bill paying system, here's an illustration using five folders.

UNPAID BILLS: Consider a separate folder for each provider.

MEDICARE SUMMARY NOTICE (MSNs):  Medicare's written response to your claims.

QUESTIONABLE BILLS:  Bills that you need to check with your provider.

QUESTIONABLE MEDICARE SUMMARY NOTICES:  Statements you need to check with Medicare.

COMPLETED CLAIMS:  Fully paid claims, including a copy of the check or receipt of your cash payment, if any.

For this system to work, you'll need to get a copy of each and every medical bill, including bills submitted directly to Medicare by your provider or providers.

You may encounter some resistance from your provider to giving you copies of the bills because most providers are no longer used to sending bills to patients. They may also be aware that Medicare posts bills on offsite link.

If you do encounter resistance, consider explaining to the billing person at your doctor's office that:

  • You do not have access to the internet on a regular basis
  • You want to pay what you owe, but that without a copy of the itemized bill to compare to Medicare's Medicare Summary Notice, you have no way of knowing the correct amount.

Once your provider's office gets in the habit of providing you with a copy of their bills, you should hopefully encounter less resistance.

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