When you reimburse yourself for medical expenses, you are required to keep 'records', to prove that the expenses were falling in the allowed medical cost classes. In case of an audit, you need to be able to 'proof' that.
Especially when delaying the reimbursement for many years or even decades (a potential useful way to collect tax-free gains in the HSA), it will be often impossible to get back to a specific doctor and ask for a better receipt / bill / invoice, so you need to make sure to have a good documentation to begin with.
The question is What kind of paperwork is practically needed?
Everyone talks about 'receipts', but I get most of the time only a credit card printout (those ripped-off two-inch wide little paper pieces); although it shows typically the name of the company, like "Dr. DoLittle Offices", it doesn't list the exact things I'm paying for. Was it a massage? Or a face-lifting (not covered, I guess)? Or a hip replacement?
Many if not most doctors decline to produce any formal bill or invoice, and as you have to pay upfront, they simply don't treat you if you don't want to pay without an invoice.
So most of the time I end up with having:
- a credit card paper chit with amount and date, proofing that I paid that doctor on that day, and
- a printout from the insurance website with what the doctor billed them, and what my share / deductible is
Note that often enough these two numbers don't even match up exactly, I guess if the doctor's office doesn't bother to run after me for one or two dollars difference (and neither do I when I overpaid like 1.73$).
Will that be good enough when the Man comes for an audit? Any experiences?