How long do you retain medical papers? I usually get some kind of paper at the office, and then claims from the insurance company, and then bill from the doctors office. I match these all together and pay the remainder that insurance doesn't cover. So, how long should I keep it for? NOTE: We do not itemize our taxes.
Thanks, Wendy, for your excellent question. While the rule of thumb is to keep medical papers for three years, there are several additional things to consider. If the health condition is a chronic one, retain medical documents for three years after the chronic condition is resolved. Health records such as immunizations should be kept indefinitely. If in the future, your medical expenses are itemized on tax returns, retain these tax-related documents for at least seven years.
My personal method is to retain all such records for ten years. The math is easy: In 2010 I destroy the records from the year 2000. Anything related to long term purchases or tax materials is retained separately and stored indefinitely. Chronically disorganized individuals will find the use of open bins and color filing materials helpful in managing the multiude of papers.
Destroy any personal records in a secure way such as shredding.
Review the Record Retention Guidelines 101 at Smead Organomics for information on a wide array of household record retention information.