How to Keep Personal Medical Expense Records

You may need your personal medical expense records for income tax purposes.

You may need your personal medical expense records for income tax purposes.

Your medical expense records can be vital for filing insurance claims and proving income tax deductions. Because as newlyweds it can be challenging to merge your records into the existing files of one or the other, it might be best to start over from scratch with a whole new system. Keep personal medical expense records neat and organized so that when it’s time to file a claim or prepare your income tax return you’ll be ready with the information you need.

Create a file separate folder -- one for both you and your spouse -- for each calendar year.

Place all bills, receipts, canceled checks and credit card statements connected with doctor visits and hospital bills into the appropriate file folder. These papers might include a payment record from an annual check-up or from a surgical procedure. Include prescription receipts, dental bills and eye doctor receipts. Dedicate one file folder for your spouse’s bills and receipts for the year and another for your own.

Keep track of medical-related travel expenses for each spouse. For example, if you must travel by air to a special clinic, file receipts for all expenses into the appropriate file folder. If you drive your car regularly to receive medical care, the IRS recommends that you keep a written journal of your expenses. One option is to record the expenses you incur from gas and oil purchases that you use specifically for transportation for medical care. Another option is to record the miles you drive your car for transportation for medical care and figure mileage using the standard mileage rate for medical expenses -- 23 cents per mile as of 2012. Add all taxi and bus fares, tolls and parking fees to your travel expenses as well, placing these receipts in the appropriate file.

Save all bills and receipts for the calendar year. When a new year begins, start new file folders for each of you and begin collecting bills and receipts for the new year. Ensure that every bill and receipt contains details about the medical expense, who incurred the expense and the date you paid the bill.


  • The IRS recommends that you hold onto medical expense records for at least three years from the end of the calendar year you claimed them, as this is the time limit for auditing.
  • The U.S. government recommends a simple file cabinet with hanging file folders for storing medical expense records. It’s not necessary to rent a safe deposit box to store these records.

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.

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