How long should you keep medical bills?

Asked by: Johnny Gottlieb  |  Last update: March 12, 2023
Score: 4.8/5 (56 votes)

Here's what we recommend. Keep medical bills until you have paid the bill in full. Hang on to them for an additional year, especially if you plan on deducting the expenses on your income tax return. After that period, you can shred them.

How many years of medical receipts should you keep?

Keep records for 3 years from the date you filed your original return or 2 years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later, if you file a claim for credit or refund after you file your return.

What records do I need to keep and for how long?

To be on the safe side, McBride says to keep all tax records for at least seven years. Keep forever. Records such as birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, Social Security cards, and military discharge papers should be kept indefinitely.

What bills do I need to keep?

Here's a guide of which financial documents to keep and for how long.
  • Receipts. How long to keep: Three years. ...
  • Home Improvement Records. ...
  • Medical Bills. ...
  • Paycheck Stubs. ...
  • Utility Bills. ...
  • Credit Card Statements. ...
  • Investment and Real Estate Records. ...
  • Bank Statements.

How long should you keep Medicare explanation of benefits?

When you or someone you are caring for is seriously ill, it is recommended that you keep EOBs for five years after the illness or condition is alleviated. If you or the patient is claiming or has claimed a medical deduction, keep the explanation of benefits for seven years.

Smart Things to do Before you Pay your Medical Bills

29 related questions found

How long should you keep prescription drug summaries?

Medicare generally recommends that you keep notices for 1 to 3 years.

Is there any reason to keep old insurance policies?

State Laws. State laws vary, but generally require insurance agents to keep copies of their customer's policies for 6–7 years. Since a nonprofit can't always count on having access to the insurance agent's files when needed, each nonprofit should also maintain copies of expired policies.

How many years should you keep bank statements?


Knowing that, a good rule of thumb is to save any document that verifies information on your tax return—including Forms W-2 and 1099, bank and brokerage statements, tuition payments and charitable donation receipts—for three to seven years.

What bills can I get rid of?

5 areas to slash your bills
  • Energy and car gas.
  • Food and groceries.
  • Banking and credit.
  • Taxes.

How do I get rid of all bills?

Focus on your personal finance goals
  1. Getting caught up on your monthly payments and bills.
  2. Build a small emergency fund.
  3. Save for 3 to 6 months of expenses.
  4. Pad your existing savings account.
  5. Pay off credit card debt.
  6. Pay off student loans.
  7. Pay off personal loans or car loans.
  8. Save for a down payment.

Is there any reason to keep old bank statements?

Keep them as long as needed to help with tax preparation or fraud/dispute resolution. And maintain files securely for at least seven years if you've used your statements to support information you've included in your tax return.

Should I shred old tax returns?

Once you submit the return, shred those stubs and statements. After filing, go back 3 years to shred the old tax return forms, W-2s, 1099s, K-1s, canceled checks, receipts for charitable contributions, and other information used in past taxes.

How long should you keep credit card statements?

According to the IRS, it generally audits returns filed within the past three years. But it usually doesn't go back more than the past six years. Either way, it can be a good idea to keep any credit card statements with proof of deductions for six years after you file your tax return.

Can the IRS go back more than 10 years?

Generally, the IRS can include returns filed within the last three years in an audit. If we identify a substantial error, we may add additional years. We usually don't go back more than the last six years. The IRS tries to audit tax returns as soon as possible after they are filed.

Do you need to keep old house insurance documents?

You do not need to retain old bills. Current insurance policies for building and contents. Outdated policies should be discarded. Warranties, manuals and receipts for household appliances or guarantees for home improvements should also be retained.

How long should you keep bank statements and canceled checks?

How long must a bank keep canceled checks / check records / copies of checks? Generally, if a bank does not return canceled checks to its customers, it must either retain the canceled checks, or a copy or reproduction of the checks, for five years.

How much should you have left after bills?

1. Keep essentials at about 50% of your pay. Things like bills, rent, groceries, and debt payments should make up about 50% of a gross (before taxes) paycheck. Remove this money from your primary account right away, so you know your needs will be covered.

What to do when you can't keep up with bills?

Contact your lenders, loan servicers, and other creditors. If you can't make a payment now, need more time, or want to discuss payment options, contact your lenders to explain your situation, and check their websites to see if they have information that can help you.

What bills are most important to pay?

A safe home for you and your family always comes first, so paying your rent or mortgage should always be your highest priority payment. Plus, you don't want to risk being evicted or having your home foreclosed by being late or continuously missing payments.

How long do I keep 401k statements?

In general, 401k plan records must be kept for a period of not less than six years after the filing date of the IRS Form 5500 created from those records.

How long should I keep check registers?

Some people recommend keeping checkbook registers for at least 12 months in case “issues” (questions about payment) arise and because some checks may take a while to clear.

How long should you save mortgage statements?

Like your mortgage payment statements, you should keep any paperwork on your refinance for at least 3 years. Although, some professionals might recommend keeping it for at least 10 years.

Do I need to save Medicare statements?

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.

What documents should I keep?

Keep the documentation until you know you no longer need it.
Important papers to save forever include:
  • Birth certificates.
  • Social Security cards.
  • Marriage certificates.
  • Adoption papers.
  • Death certificates.
  • Passports.
  • Wills and living wills.
  • Powers of attorney.

Is it safe to throw away credit card statements?

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.