The three nationwide credit reporting agencies (NCRAs) — Equifax®, Experian® and TransUnion® — announced significant changes to medical collection debt reporting to support consumers faced with unexpected medical bills. As of July
1, 2022, paid medical collection debt will no longer appear on credit reports. And the time period before unpaid medical collection debt appears on your credit reports increases from 6 months to 1 year. This extension provides additional time to pay
off medical debt before it appears on credit reports. In the first half of 2023, the NCRAs will no longer include medical collections debt under $500 on credit reports.
Before this joint measure, if a healthcare provider turned your overdue account over to a collection agency because you haven't paid the amount due, the collection agency may report that information to the credit agencies after a 180-day (six-month) period.
By removing paid medical collection debt from credit reports, this joint action from the credit agencies helps support consumers faced with unexpected medical bills. Most healthcare providers do not report to the three nationwide credit bureaus (Equifax,
Experian and TransUnion), which means most medical debt is not typically included on credit reports and does not generally factor into credit scores.
When you receive your bill, be sure to examine it carefully and compare it with the explanation of benefits provided by your health insurance provider. If you believe you've found an error, contact your medical provider or health insurance company. Ask
for an itemized bill so you can better understand what you're being charged for. It's always a good idea to regularly review your credit reports to make sure the information is accurate and complete. You can receive free Equifax credit reports with
a myEquifax account. Free weekly credit reports from the three NCRAs are available at annualcreditreport.com through the end of 2022.
If you're facing mounting medical expenses, there are some things you may want to consider to help prevent accumulating debt from medical bills.
(Reprinted from equifax.com)
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