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Cari's Corner

Organizing Ideas and Tips

July, 2014

Medical Papers

Anyone who has been to the doctor knows how much paperwork can be involved.  There are medical records, receipts, invoices and privacy notices and then of course all the insurance paperwork that goes along with it.  And if you were in the hospital it is amazing how many separate bills you can get for one visit!  So the question is, what do we do with all of this paperwork, and how can we keep it organized.
Those of you with an HMO like Kaiser probably don't have to deal with this, but most of the rest of us do, so here are a few tips.

My first recommendation is to ask your medical providers if any of the paperwork can be done digitally.  Also, most of the insurance companies offer paperless delivery.
But for papers you do get, here is what you should keep:
I recommend that you keep all information that directly relates to you or your care.  Forms that you signed releasing liability for your personal belongings while in the hospital, or privacy practices information can all be recycled.  Also any sheets telling you your rights (for language assistance or anything else) can most likely be recycled (unless it is something that you are having an issue with and it pertains to you).
What you will have left are two types of information.  Medical records and financial records.  I recommend these two types of information be filed so that you can easily find them again if needed. 
Medical records can just be put in files for each person in your household.  If there is a lot of information, you might want to separate it by year, but for most of us just three files (Medical, Dental, and Vision) is all we need.  If these 3 (per person) files are in your file cabinet, then when you come home from the doctor, all you have to do is slip any information into these files and you are done.
Financial records are a bit trickier if you are dealing with insurance and with payments.  For most of us, you will get a bill from the doctor (or location or lab) and you will also get an EOB (Explanation of Benefits) from your insurance company.  Unless you only have one or two appointments per year, I recommend entering the information on some sort of spreadsheet as it comes in.  This way you can record the bill, which insurance is paying what part, and also the date and method of your portion of the payment.  This is useful to keep easy track to make sure everything matches, but also makes it very easy at the end of the year to see how much your total medical payments are for your taxes.  If you have an HSA this is also a great way to be sure you are putting the right amount in your HSA to get the bills paid.  Some people also have to submit receipts for reimbursements from certain flex plans or insurance plans, and having this spreadsheet will make that process very easy.  I also find it is a quick place to look for the last time you had a certain type of appointment.
After these amounts are recorded, I like to attach everything together from one visit, and file that in another file under that patient’s name.  This is the "Medical Finances" file.
Any questions?  I would be happy to help.  Feel free to email me any time.

Great help to go paperless!

Cari's Tech Favorites


With the closure of Manilla this month, I went in search of a new service to retrieve my documents from all the many companies and accounts that we use.  I found FileThis, and I think it is a great solution.  It is available from your mobile device or any computer, and allows you access to all your statements.  Anything from banking to utilities to insurance.  It will automatically save your statements to your computer or dropbox or several other options.  It is free for a limited number of companies, and then there is a monthly fee.

My favorite folders!

Cari's Product Favorites

Hanging Pendaflex File Folder

Some people might think that all hanging file folders are the same, but I don’t agree.  My favorite folder is the Pendaflex hanging file folder, and there really is a huge quality difference.  It is reinforced, so it lasts a long time, and hangs well on the rails without getting tangled like some other brand folders do.  If you don't have a file drawer with rails, you can purchase rails to put in the drawer.  So, when you need to get new folders, I recommend the Pendaflex folders.  I find the best prices on Amazon.

About Cari:

Cari is a Residential Professional Organizer and Personal Photo Organizer in the NE Areas of Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley.  Cari specializes in organizing home offices and photos.  Cari also provides Daily Money Manager services.

Do you have digital photos that need organizing?  Ask about our remote digital photo organizing services.

Cari also offers maintenance services to help you keep your home office in shape, and your papers up to date.  Weekly, monthly or even quarterly sessions will help keep your paper life and bills under control. 

You can find more information about Cari and her services on our website:  Cari's Custom Organizing
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