Can Unpaid Medical Bills Go On Your Credit?

We have all heard of how unpaid credit cards and loans can hurt your credit, but can unpaid medical bills affect your credit also?  Today we take an in-depth look at how medical bills affect credit scores. 

What Happens When You Can’t Pay?

Usually, your bill will first be sent to your health insurance company, who will either pay part or all of the amount, depending on the procedure and coverage. You are required to pay the remaining balance of whatever amount the insurance company does not cover.

If and when a medical provider sells the unpaid debt to a collection agency, you will start to be contacted relentlessly by the collection agency.  Usually, the medical provider does not report the unpaid medical bill to the credit agencies. 

Medical Bills And Collection Agencies

Do Medical Bills Affect Credit Scores?

Under a new law passed in 2017, the unpaid medicals bills will not go on your credit report until they are at least 180 days past due. The 180 day grace period from the time your account became delinquent, was put in place to help people settle their bills before anything appeared on their credit report. 

How Much Will Medical Bills Hurt My Credit?

After the 180 day period, your credit score will become negatively impacted.  If you have a good credit score, you may see the impact of a 50 – 100 point drop.

What If I Don’t Pay My Medical Bill?

Ignoring medical bills that you truly owe can have several different consequences.  The medical provider may write your unpaid balance off as a loss and your credit will be damaged for a period of 7 years.

What You Should Do About Medical Bills

Most medical providers will not pursue the lien scenario if you are willing to work with them.  Do not ignore your medical bills because it is not worth the worse case scenarios that could happen.

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