Everyone knows cancer is costly—and getting money for cancer patients is critical. Here’s one way to guard your resources: get super organized when it comes to medical bills; it could result in big savings.
As anyone who has had a lengthy illness, or even a short term health issue, there are bills and then there are those documents that say, “this is not a bill,” but rather an explanation of benefits or EOB.
Medical bills aren’t like credit card statements or any other type of bill for a service, where you get one tidy monthly amount you owe. Instead, bills for one event—a hospital stay for some surgery, for example—come flying in from many different providers. The anesthesiologist will bill separately from the radiologist, as will the surgeon and others. One event, many bills.
Organizing Your Medical Bills
You might want to track events and bills on a spreadsheet, noting dates for services provided, when claims were filed, etc. There are also reimbursements from insurance companies that need to be matched to bills you paid for.
But a spreadsheet cannot replace a well-organized file system grouping items that are unresolved, those that are resolved, and so on. One solution is to create a tickler file, a set of folders (and you can do this on the computer as well) with dates, where you put notes about events you expect to have happen in the future.
Consult your accountant; they may advise recording expenses to get care (including money spent on travel, meal and lodging) and any other costs related to cancer treatment.
But perhaps the biggest cost savings you can win is to double check that bills and EOBs are correct. Eliminating or at least questioning charges that don’t make sense will help reduce costs.
There are many ways to get money for cancer patients, from fundraisers to life insurance loans (which we specialize in) to selling assets. But we shouldn’t neglect the obvious opportunity that exists by simply reviewing each charge carefully.