Doctors and documentation

It’s happened again. I’m on a flex plan at work and I have to get receipts from a doctor in order to get reimbursed.

They don’t have to be fancy: the doctor’s name, date of service, patient, cost, and type of service. But every time I go to a new doctor, they act like they never heard of such a thing.

The format is an IRS requirement for deduction medical expenses, and the flex plan sticks with the rules. I imagine that most people don’t itemize medical expenses (mostly because they have to be over a certain amount). Also, those that do, don’t have to supply documentation unless they’re audited.

But every time I go to a new doctor, I have to fight to get the proper documentation, and they clearly haven’t heard of the requirements. Even when I’ve been there before, I have to remind them to give me the proper information.

I can’t be the only person who has a flex plan.

There is a sort of “industry standard” called a superbill:

But, obviously, YMMV as to who’s heard of it, and who can/will provide one.

Probably no downside, though, in trying to invoke the term and see if it rings any bells.

Are you paying the bill at the actual doctor’s office? I would absolutely have a problem getting that sort of receipt from the front desk staff at mine. But there were a few occasions when they either 1) forgot to collect my payment altogether or 2) they collected the office visit fee but not the blood-draw fee and I got a bill from the billing service. And those bills had all the information needed. Maybe you can solve this by speaking to the billing staff.

The doctor was able to come up with a bill that I think the flex plan will accept.

What is odd is that I keep coming across doctors who seem never to have provided this type of receipt.

If the flex plan you’re talking about is a flexible spending account, I’m not surprised that a lot of doctors seem to have never provided the type of receipt you need. From the little bit I know about them, you can have both an FSA and health insurance and in that case the claim form/explanation of benefits from the insurance company can serve as an itemized bill for the FSA to reimburse your copay ( which is typically also shown on the EOB) or deductible. It might not work that way with your company’s plan, but it does for others. I seem to remember the limits being low for an FSA and I suspect the number of people who don’t have health insurance and use the FSA for all their medical expenses is overwhelmed by those who have health insurance and use the FSA for copays, deductibles, prescription/OTC medication and vision and dental care. Although I’m sure your doctors have other patients with FSAs , it wouldn’t surprise me if all the others were able to use insurance forms to provide the details.