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  Review and Pay Bills  

The goals of reviewing and paying bills are threefold:

  • Make the process as foolproof and painless as possible,
  • Ensure that all bills are valid -- they must correctly identify products and services that were properly ordered and received, 
  • Avoid problems and costs that can result from late payments (late fees, utility shutoffs, and so on).  

Receiving and paying bills electronically can go a long way towards making the process as painless as possible.  Further, it makes sense to have a way to automatically categorize bill payments to allow comparing your actual expenses with your spending plan -- this can also be facilitated through the use of electronic bills and payments.  A large number of vendors, utility companies, insurance firms and so on can provide electronic bills today, and electronic payments or automatic billpay can be used for virtually all companies or persons which you may want to pay


Healthcare bills -- Paying the co-payments and deductibles for Medicare or other health insurance programs involves more complex record-keeping, since you need to keep track of "out-of-pocket maximums" and "lifetime maximums" to ensure you're not paying any more than is required.  Experience suggests that you should not rely on the health insurer to determine this.  Managing healthcare costs also requires that you are always aware of penalties or requirements of the plan regarding precertification for certain services, out-of-network referrals, and so on.


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