Medical debt often results from unpredictable events, but you shouldn’t let such an event ruin your credit for years to come. With 52 percent of all debt on credit reports coming from medical expenses, 43 million Americans are affected by this problem.
Recently, the three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) instituted a new rule that requires a 180-day waiting period before medical debt gets added to your credit reports. This means you will have about six months to make payments or work something out with your insurance carrier. Additionally, if a medical bill is ultimately paid late by your insurance company, the credit bureau must remove it from your credit report.
Control your information!
- Keep up to date on your medical bills and see if you have a balance owed.
- Monitor the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) forms your medical insurer sends you to be sure that the amount you owe matches the amount billed by your medical providers.
- Dispute any incorrect items on your credit report.
- Check your credit reports regularly for any medical debt that you don’t recognize. Medical identity theft is a growing problem!
For additional information on debt collection, please read our guide: Debt Collection and Your Rights