Discusses Using a Collection Agency and Addressing Medical Debt

December 21 00:21 2021 Discusses Using a Collection Agency and Addressing Medical Debt

Accidents happen, and medical bills often follow quickly thereafter. Unexpected medical debt is one of the biggest problems this country faces. Those affected by medical debt are more likely to declare bankruptcy, and because these debts affect credit scoring, they’re less likely to be able to obtain employment, transportation, and housing.

Medical Debt: How It Happens 

Those who have visited emergency rooms are likely familiar with the pile of bills received from various hospital departments. Ambulance rides, x-rays, medications, and other items are all billed separately, and many patients assume they’re covered until they can’t get credit because of the outstanding debt. Medical collections typically occur because of the following circumstances.

  • A bill is sent to a collections agency before the patient even receives it.

  • Debts are sent to collections even when patients are paying on them.

  • Creditors use outdated scoring models that don’t consider the newest debt reporting changes.

No matter why one is in medical debt, some organizations will work with consumers to find a fair and equitable solution. Visit this website link for additional details.

How Medical Debt Reporting Has Changed

In a report from 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, African Americans and others finally received acknowledgment that Medical Debt Collection Tactics Disproportionately Hit Black Americans. This has greatly impacted their credit scores. As most of these debts are unexpected and out of the consumer’s control, the Bureau believes people shouldn’t be punished for them if they’re paying their other bills on time.

Later that year, FICO 9 brought changes in the scoring of medical debts. Less consideration was given to medical bills, and debts that were paid off or settled were removed from credit histories. VantageScore made similar changes one year earlier. Early in 2015, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion agreed to a 180-day delay in reporting unpaid medical bills. While these changes take hold, Black consumers are still looking for ways to avoid rising healthcare costs and the debts that come with them. If contacted by an organization like Collection Bureau of America, there are options available to address debts. 

Avoiding Debt and Rebuilding Credit

According to and CNBC, medical debts are the most significant cause of bankruptcy filings among Americans. More than half of these people fail to take required medications because of cost factors, and patients often rely on emergency departments for their care, which inevitably leads to high medical bills. Here are a few tips on repaying medical debt. 

  • Work with the provider. If the patient is uninsured, tell the doctor and try to negotiate a lower rate.

  • Read bills carefully. Consumers have the right to request itemized lists of medical costs.

  • Create a payment plan. Healthcare providers prefer gradual payments over not being paid at all.

  • Don’t use credit cards. Card debt carries more weight than medical bills on a credit report.

African Americans are becoming more empowered where medical debt and credit are concerned, but more work needs to be done. Communication, negotiation, and education are vital tactics to use before, during, and after medical emergencies. By using these tools, consumers can manage debt more effectively.

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