A serious injury or illness can be disruptive enough, and most people feel overwhelmed for a while during the recovery period. But what about the financial side? Paid medical bills are no longer reported to credit agencies.
However, unpaid medical bills can be reported to the three main credit agencies, and it could cause some major problems if it’s not quickly addressed.
According to a report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), it could be time for consumers with medical debts to check their credit reports, as they could have extra protections that they weren’t aware of when taking out the debt.
It’s currently estimated that over 40 million Americans have unpaid medical bills, and in many of those cases, the debt comes from emergency treatments.
In a high number of cases, the information is reported to credit agencies while people are waiting for financial relief to be paid. For those cases, the CFPB has recently warned credit companies against reporting invalid medical debts that aren’t enforceable.
In addition to this, the agency recently told the three credit agencies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, to remove all medical debts under $500 and roughly half of the people with debts on their credit reports can expect the information to be removed in the next few months.
The CFPB says that anyone struggling with medical bills should, firstly, check if they qualify for any financial assistance programs to cover the healthcare costs.
The agency added: “We expect that the No Surprises Act, the recent actions by credit reporting companies, and the CFPB’s own actions and guidance will reduce the challenges many families face after they receive medical care. If you find invalid medical bills on your credit report or if you’re having issues disputing other medical bill errors with the credit reporting companies, submit a complaint to the CFPB.”