Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Do I Need To Keep Medicare Summary Notices

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Whats The Point Of It

HOW TO READ A BILL: Part B Medicare Summary Notice (2 of 3)

The Medicare Summary Notice helps you see your medical expenses and what Medicares been billed on your behalf. Its a secondary piece of information to put with your bills and other documents as part of your at-home medical records.

But theres another purpose for this notice, too.

Medical billing errors are, unfortunately, pretty common. This quarterly statement from Medicare gives you a chance to review your charges and services, compare them to your own statements and experience, and make sure that what Medicare got billed for is correct.

In a perfect world, this would be as simple as glancing at the charges and saying, Yep, that looks okay. But this isnt a perfect world, and you need to read through the MSN carefully for errors.

When you get the MSN, grab your own medical statements and any documentation you have from the last three months and compare it to the form. If you see any discrepancies or anything that doesnt make sense, follow the forms instructions for reporting errors or appealing denied claims. It may be a simple issue that your doctor can resolve by updating a claim code, or you may need to file an official appeal with Medicare.

Either way, take the MSN as an opportunity to double-check your charges and make sure youre not being billed incorrectly. Remember: the form itself is not a bill, but you can use it to get a sense of bills you might be getting .

Local Licensed Medicare Professionals

How Long Should You Keep Eobs

Experts recommend keeping medical EOBs for a set period of time, but how long depends on the individual circumstances of the patient in question. The IRS advises taxpayers to keep relevant documentation for as long as they may be needed to verify deductions if youve included the medical tax deduction on your return, file the EOBs along with the rest of your tax documents for seven years. Additional guidelines based on health include:

How Long Should I Keep The Medicare Summary Notices And Supplemental Insurance Summary Of Benefits Documents I Receive In The Mail

There is no hard and fast rule for saving medical payment records. Certainly, they need to be kept while the medical services that are summarized on the forms are in the process of payment by Medicare and supplemental insurance policies.

After that, it is your call. One suggestion, storage space permitting, is to save medical payment records for three to six years as you would tax deduction records.

That way, if you need to refer back to them, they are there. You also might keep these medical records if you claimed them as a deduction on your taxes. The records can also provide you with a medical history.

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How Long Should I Keep Medicare Summary Notices

Holding on to your MSNs for at least 12 months is a good rule of thumb. It allows you to keep track of Medicares payment activity. The main reason to save your MSM for 1 year is because Medicare requires that all claims for health care services need to be filed with Medicare within 12 months after the date of service.

If you happen to need a copy of your MSM or lose is, simply dial 1-800-MEDICARE to request a new one. You can also login to your on www.mymedicare.gov.

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Standardized Notices And Forms

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A CMS Form number and Office of Management and Budget approval number, which must appear on the notice, identify OMB-approved, standardized notices and forms. CMS has developed standardized notices and forms for use by plans, providers and enrollees as described below:

Notice of Denial for Payment or Services

A plan must issue a written notice to an enrollee, an enrollee’s representative, or an enrollee’s physician when it denies a request for payment or services. The notice used for this purpose is the:

  • Notice of Denial of Medical Coverage or Payment , Form CMS-10003-NDMCP, also known as the Integrated Denial Notice

This form and its instructions can be accessed on the “MA Denial Notices” webpage at: /Medicare/Medicare-General-Information/BNI/MADenialNotices

Notice of Termination of Services

A provider must issue advance written notice to enrollees before termination of services in a Skilled Nursing Facility , Home Health Agency , or Comprehensive Outpatient Rehabilitation Facility . If an enrollee files an appeal, then the plan must deliver a detailed explanation of why services should end. The two notices used for this purpose are:

  • Notice of Medicare Non-Coverage Form CMS-10123-NOMNC, and the
  • Detailed Explanation of Non-Coverage Form CMS-10124-DENC.

These forms and their instructions can be accessed on the “MA Expedited Determination Notices” webpage at: /Medicare/Medicare-General-Information/BNI/MAEDNotices

Appointment of Representative

Hospital Discharge Notices

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What To Do With The Notice

  • If you have other insurance, check to see if it covers anything that Medicare didnt.
  • Keep your receipts and bills, and compare them to your MSN to be sure you got all the services, supplies, or equipment listed.
  • If you paid a bill before you got your notice, compare your MSN with the bill to make sure you paid the right amount for your services.
  • If an item or service is denied, call your medical provider’s office to make sure they submitted the correct information. If not, the office may resubmit.
  • If you disagree with any decision made, you can file an appeal. On the last page of the MSN there are step-by-step directions on when and how to file an appeal.

Do You Have To Do Anything Once You Get A Medicare Summary Notice

You should read through it and check for errors or potential fraud. If your list of services doesnt match up with the care you remember receiving, then you should follow up with the Medicare program.

Rejected Claims: If any of your claims were denied, an MSN will provide a jumping-off point. Check with your doctor or provider. If your claim shouldnt have been denied, submit an appeal to Medicare using the form included with the MSN.

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Is An Msn The Same Thing As An Explanation Of Benefits

No MSNs are only for those enrolled in Original Medicare. While an Explanation of Benefits typically includes much of the same information, theyre only sent to Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plan enrollees.

Private health insurance companies provide Medicare Advantage and Part D plans, and each company creates its own EOB to send to its customers. That means an EOB from one company can look very different from another companys EOB. MSNs, however, are all formatted the same way.

Medicare Mail From The Social Security Administration

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There are a few pieces of Medicare-related mail you may get from the Social Security Administration. They may be labeled as coming from CMS, which weâll cover in the next section, but either way, this is not junk mail, and you should keep it.

Example of Social Security Administration Letterhead

The mailers you might receive from the Social Security Administration include the following:

  • Social Security Benefit Rate Change Notice This notice tells you about benefit payment changes for the coming year due to cost of living increases, variations in the premiums that are withheld, and other factors.
  • Initial IRMAA Determination You’ll get this notice if you have Medicare Part B and/or Part D and Social Security determines that any Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amounts apply to you. This notice includes information about Social Security’s determination and appeal rights.
  • Social Security Part B & Part D Income-Related Adjustment Amount Notice If you’re in a higher-income household, this notice tells you about income-related Medicare Part B and Part D premium adjustments for the coming year. It includes the information in the December BRI notices.
  • Social Security LIS & MSP Outreach Notice If we think you might be eligible for a Medicare Savings Program , this notice tells you about MSPs and the Extra Help available for Medicare prescription drug coverage.
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    Find Affordable Medicare Supplement Plans

    Have you received a Medicare Summary Notice in the mail? Dont worry, its standard procedure to receive one. Everyone who is covered under Medicare will get an MSN. Your health care providers and hospitals will send their bills for your health care services directly to Medicare. The MSM lists these services.

    In this article well discuss:

    What If I Am In A Medicare Advantage Plan

    Medicare Advantage : If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, your plan will send you an Explanation of Benefits listing services and items you have received from the plan. If you fill your prescription medications through your Medicare Advantage plan, your plan will send you an EOB listing the prescriptions you have filled.

    Medicare Part D: Your Medicare Part D prescription drug plan will send you an EOB.

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    Free & Secure Medicare Account

    Create an account to access your Medicare information anytime. You can also:

    • Add your prescriptions and pharmacies to help you better compare health and drug plans in your area.
    • Sign up to get your yearly “Medicare & You” handbook and claims statements, called “Medicare Summary Notices,” electronically.
    • View your Original Medicare claims as soon as they’re processed.
    • Print a copy of your official Medicare card.
    • See a list of preventive services you’re eligible to get in Original Medicare.
    • Learn about your Medicare premiums, and pay them online if you get a bill from Medicare.

    How Long To Keep Cancelled Checks


    The length of time for keeping canceled checks varies.

    If you paid by check at the grocery store, you can shred the canceled check after you get your monthly statement.

    Same goes for any other checks that have cleared and are not part of a larger purchase.

    • High ticket item with warranty
    • Tax payment
    • Charitable donations

    These cancelled checks should be kept until they are no longer needed.

    For example, you would keep any cancelled checks related to tax payments or charitable donations for 7 years, since the IRS can go back that far with an audit.

    For a canceled check that paid your mortgage, you would keep until you pay off the house.

    For a cancelled check on a flat screen TV, you keep it for a year or two until the warranty expires.

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    How Long To Keep Bills

    Keep your monthly bills, like utility bills , cable and internet, etc. for one year.

    After that, you can shred them.

    In the event the bill is tax related, like if you run a business out of your house, you will want to keep those bills for 7 years, again just in case you get audited.

    Another bill to keep is if it was for a large purchase and you need proof of purchase for a warranty claim.

    What Should I Do With My Part D Explanation Of Benefits

    If you have Medicare prescription drug coverage, either from a stand-alone policy, or as additional coverage with your Medicare Advantage plan, you have probably received Explanation of Benefits notices after you receive medical services or supplies that are covered by your plan.

    An Explanation of Benefits is not a bill that you have to pay. Rather, it is a report that gives you details about charges and savings you have when you use your Part D insurance for your prescription drug coverage. Many people are not sure what to do with EOBs that they get in the mail. Here is what you need to know.

    What is an Explanation of Benefits?Whenever your Part D policy provider submits a claim for services or supplies you have received, an EOB is created. Your insurance provider then sends you a copy of this EOB to let you know what the cost of your care was, if you saved any money by using in-network providers, and if there are any out-of-pocket expenses you are responsible for.

    Because of this type of information, the EOB may look like a bill, and many find this confusing. It is not a bill. Here is the information you should see on your EOB in more detail:

    All the detailed information of the payee, the payer, and your personal information as the patient or the person receiving the services or supplies.

    Your name and the medical services you received, the date, description of services, and the name of the service or supply provider.

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    How Long To Keep Mortgage Statements

    Any records relating to the purchase of your home should be kept until you sell the house.

    You should keep records of your mortgage payments until you get the statement in the mail.

    And then you want to keep these monthly statements until you get the tax form showing the interest you paid for the year to make sure it matches.

    This is because you can write off mortgage interest on your taxes.

    Additionally, a portion of any gains you make on the sale of the home can be excluded from your taxes, so by keeping your statements, you have proof of the amounts you paid.

    The same goes for any real estate you purchase.

    You want to keep the financial documents until you sell the property.

    How Long To Keep Receipts

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    You can shred receipts once you verify your bank or credit card statement is correct, or the warranty or return period has passed.

    For receipts that relate to home or business expenses, you will want to hold onto those until you sell the house or business.

    Also you want to keep any receipt that can be used for tax purposes, so you have a paper backup in case the IRS comes calling.

    For receipts you plan to hold on to for a long time, like home or business expenses, you might want to consider scanning them into a digital file.

    This is because over time, the ink on the receipts tends to fade and a blank receipt isnt going to do you much good.

    Another option would be to take a picture of the receipt so you have a copy of it.

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    How Long To Keep An Eob

    An article from the New York Times recommended keeping your EOB on file for at least one year to track payments, detect discrepancies and verify that bills have been paid in full.

    If you plan to file for medical expense deductions, its recommended that you keep your EOB along with other tax documentation for six to seven years.

    If youre not filing for medical tax deductions, youve fully paid your bills, and youre no longer seeking the services on your EOB, the National Association of Productivity & Organizing recommends shredding last years collection of EOBs.

    For those with a serious medical condition that has improved, NAPO recommends keeping your EOBs for five years if you dont qualify for medical expense deductions.

    Is It Safe To Throw Away Old Bank Statements

    You may be ready to throw them out, but youre not sure how. Is it safe to throw away old bank statements, or do you need to shred them first? According to the Federal Trade Commission, you should shred documents containing sensitive information, including bank statements, to protect yourself from identity theft.

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    How Long To Keep Credit Card Statements

    You should keep the receipt for anything you purchase with your credit card until the statement arrives.

    Once you verify they match and the return period on the item has passed, you can toss the receipts.

    If there is a tax related purchase, you should keep the statement for 7 years.

    Otherwise, there is no need to keep the statement any longer than 60 days.

    As with banks, you could get statements online too. Though again, most only go back a certain number of years.

    I am not aware of any credit card company charging the client to get old statements, but you never know.

    Can You Get Medicare Summary Notices Online


    Yes, Medicare summary notices are available online but you must sign up to receive them electronically.

    If you opt for electronic notices, youll stop receiving printed copies of your MSNs in the mail.

    Instead, youll get an email every month from your online My Medicare Account. You can then view your MSN online and print a copy if you want it.

    Steps to Sign Up for Electronic Medicare Summary Notices

  • Log into or create your online Medicare account.
  • Select “Get Your Medicare Summary Notices electronically” under the “My Messages” section at the top of your account homepage.
  • You’ll reach the “My Communication Preferences” page. Select “Yes” under “Change eMSN Preference.”
  • Signing up for eMSNs can help you reduce paperwork at your home. You can access these online documents at any time.

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    Can You Get Medicare Summary Notices Electronically

    MyMedicare.gov is the place to go for paperless Medicare Summary Notices. If you lose your MSN, you can reprint additional copies on MyMedicare.gov to your hearts content. Going green for eMSNs has the added benefit of freeing up your file cabinet, and you can get the forms and review them quickly, rather than waiting 3 months for them to show up in the mailbox.

    You can also sign up for email delivery of eMSNs that will replace your MSNs from the postal service. Electronic delivery will process your eMSNs each month instead of every 3 months.

    Electronic delivery is a particularly important option for people who are concerned about fraud. Scammers wont be able to take MSNs out of your mailbox, and youll have quicker access to your information.

    How Long To Keep Business Records

    You want to keep business documents for as long as the business is operating.

    Even then, you may want to keep all of your records for 5 years after the business ends, just in case the IRS or your state tax authority has any questions.

    In terms of business records, this means everything, including:

    • Articles of organization
    • State and Federal organization files
    • Bank statements
    • Payroll records
    • Tax returns

    The more you keep, the less headache it will be to prove something if someone has a question.

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