Why We Need to Itemize Our Medical Expenses
There were separate entries for prescriptions, doctor bills, facilities, labs, and more. So one in-patient hospital stay had to be divided up into what was paid to the doctor, what was paid for any scans, and the separate hospital fee itself.
What was going to take about 5 minutes turned into over ten hours of combing through the budget and sorting each payment to itemize our medical expenses.
How to Itemize Your Medical Expenses
Lucky for y’all, you can benefit from our mistake! After this time-consuming disaster, we made a spreadsheet with a new tab for each of the different medical categories. Each time we entered a medical expense into our budget, we also added it to our spreadsheet in the proper category. By doing this a couple of times each week, we saved so many hours at the end of the year and ensured that we never missed an expense.
(Please note, we pay our medical expenses out of pocket and not through a flex-spending account or other tax-free account.)
You can download a FREE copy of our spreadsheet HERE.
Medical Expenses Categories
Here are the current categories we use for itemizing medical expenses:
- Prescriptions: Co-pays for prescriptions, insulin, birth control pills, arithiritis painkillers, asthma inhalers
- Medical Professionals: Dentists and doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, acupuncturists
- Facilities: Nursing and retirement homes, inpatient rehab centers, sanitariums, hospitals and clinics
- X-Rays and Lab Work: Blood tests, cardiographs, metabolism tests, urine analysis
- Long-Term Care: Personal care, rehabilitation, therapy
- Glasses and Contacts: Exam fees, saline solution, enzymatic cleaner, eye surgery and vision correction
- Supplies and Equipment: Hearing aids, oxygen, braille supplies, crutches
- Travel Expenses: Miles driven; bus, parking, taxi, etc.; lodging expenses
- Insurance Premiums: Separate by person and if it’s long-term
- Other: Anything else that does not fit into the other categories
In our spreadsheet, we put each of these categories in their own tab. At the top, you can get the total for each category. On the first tab, you will also get the total amount spent in all of the categories.
The only category that is a bit different is travel expenses. Each time you drive to the doctor, etc. then put the mileage in the same line where you enter the bill. If there is no bill, then add it as a separate line in the Travel Expenses tab.
The reason you want to keep track of miles is that you can deduct a certain amount per mile you traveled in your car (in 2017, that amount is $.17 per mile).
Get the spreadsheet
We hope that this spreadsheet is useful for you as you itemize your medical expenses! If you have any questions, please ask them in the comment section below and we’ll do our best to help you out!
And if you have a small business, check out our tips for itemizing those expenses as well!
An earlier version of this post can be found on The Crazy Shopping Cart.