Chances are you receive tons of statements, bills and receipts in the mail or delivered electronically. Knowing which receipts to save and which to toss could save you time and money down the road. When it comes to doctor visits, medical procedures and other medical expenses, experts suggest saving these documents for at least four years.
Keeping copies of medical records and expenses can seem like a hassle. But doing so can help in the event your medical bill has errors or fraudulent charges. With proper documentation, it is much easier to spot and dispute issues and to prove your case. To make sure your bill’s charges are correct, save your statement of services that itemizes each drug, procedure and service.
Taxes and Your Medical Paperwork
Another key reason to keep medical records and receipts is for tax preparation purposes. The new tax reforms preserve the ability for millions of Americans with high medical expenses to deduct those costs from their returns. When it comes time to file your return for 2018, taxpayers can write off health care spending that exceeds 7.5 percent of their income.
According to the IRS, if you itemize your deductions for a taxable year, you may be able to deduct expenses you paid that year for medical and dental care for yourself, your spouse and your dependents. Here’s a quick glance at some of the qualified deductions:
- Payments of fees to doctors, dentists, surgeons, chiropractors, psychiatrists, psychologists, and nontraditional medical practitioners.
- The cost of eyeglasses, contact lenses, prescription medicine, lactation aids, crutches, hearing aids, braces, wheelchairs, and other medical aids, all costs associated with guide dogs.
- Medical exam or test fees.
- Nursing care, hospital stays, programs to help you stop smoking, and weight-loss programs for the treatment of obesity or another condition diagnosed by a doctor.
- The cost of parking fees, tolls, transportation, and mileage for the trip to and from appointments with any medical professionals, transportation via ambulance to a medical facility, and the cost of overnight hotel stays for treatment that is received out of town.
Whether you expect to receive a refund or have experienced medical billing issues in the past, keeping records of your medical expenses will pay-off in the long run.
How to Store Your Medical Bills and Receipts
Storing receipts can be as easy as maintaining paperless copies by scanning— or using apps like Expensify or Shoeboxed to photograph receipts with your smartphone and then quickly categorize them. As a Sedera member, you can upload your receipts to our app to keep track of your expenses over time.
How about you? Have you been in a situation where you were grateful to have a copy of your medical receipt on hand? Do you have other receipt-storing apps to recommend to the community? Please share! The Sedera Community would like to hear from you.