Sunday, September 4, 2011

Spendwise Dad: Organize health insurance claims with Simplee

When we found out that my wife was pregnant with our son, we were in Colorado Springs for a summer internship. She began going to a doctor in the Springs, but in August we moved back to Utah for school and had to switch doctors. The bills and Explanation of Benefits (EOB) documents that accumulated from numerous visits to the two different doctors as well as blood labs, the hospital, and the anesthesiologist, who all billed us separately, were almost impossible to keep organized. We were still receiving EOBs and bills from the original doctor in the Springs months after our son was already born.

Presumably the EOBs are there to help you reconcile what the insurance paid on your behalf and how much you own out of pocket to the doctor or hospital. In a couple of instances, these documents helped us make sure that we weren't paying for something that we didn't actually owe and we were able to get a bill corrected. But in general it was difficult to keep all of these things straight and feel confident that we were on top of everything. The EOBs showed up in the mail in what seemed to be a random order. Sometimes we received duplicates or updated EOBs with corrections that we knew nothing about. By the time we received our last EOB related to this birth, we had enough pages to fill a 3-inch binder. We did our best to match EOBs with their associated bills, but to this day, almost two years later, the only thing that reassures me that all of these accounts were reconciled is that we have stopped receiving documents in the mail, we haven't received any calls from collections, and our most recent credit reports don't indicate any issues.

Oh how I wish Simplee were around two years ago for that pregnancy and birth. I just started a full-time job with benefits in May and have since been using to keep track of our, so far, very few health insurance claims. If you are familiar with the, you will recognize the concept: Simplee uses a secure connection to link to your health insurance web site and access the claims information directly. This information is organized and displayed in an easily accessible and easy to understand way. Our insurance provider now provides our EOBs online so that we no longer have to massacre entire forests just so that we can receive a physical copy of the same information. These generally come in PDF form and are not easy to organize without printing them out. Simplee makes the process of reviewing and even adding notes to claims...well...simple!

As you might expect from a small start-up, they do not yet support every insurance provider in existence and they are continually working on adding support for more providers. They currently support our health insurance and dental insurance, but not our vision or prescription.

I'm sure as this site grows more providers will be added as well as great new features to help all of us keep on top of our health insurance claims. I would recommend this tool to everyone.