STARTING July 1, millions of Americans will have their medical debt removed from their credit reports.
The amendments state that any medical collection debt that has been paid in full by the consumer will no longer be included in consumer credit reports in the United States.
In addition, the three companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion have also decided to increase the collection period from six months to one year.
This includes all unpaid medical debts in collections that have been on credit reports for less than one year.
Typically, this debt can stay on your file for seven years.
This will provide consumers with ample time to work with insurers and/or healthcare providers to settle their debt before it is flagged on their credit report.
Mark W. Begor, CEO of Equifax; Brian Cassin, CEO of Experian; and Chris Cartwright, CEO of TransUnion, said, “Unexpected expenses, such as the cost of an unscheduled medical visit, can be a hardship for many families.”
“These changes will realign our approach to reporting medical collection debts in a way designed to help consumers focus on their personal well-being,” they added.
Who will be impacted?
Starting now, millions of Americans will benefit from these changes.
As shown above, the list includes:
- Any medical collection debts that have been paid in full will no longer be included in your credit file
- The time before unpaid medical debt appears on your report will be reduced from six months to one year
- In the first half of 2023, any medical debt under $500 will no longer appear on credit reports
Earlier this year, the companies said in a joint statement that the changes would effectively remove 70% of consumers’ medical debt information from their credit reports.
It comes as more than two years into the pandemic, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has called on businesses to change the way they report.
The CFPB reports that Americans have between $81 billion and $140 billion in medical debt.
The CFPB also revealed that medical collections were found on 43 million credit reports.
A US Census Bureau study found that 19% of households cannot afford to pay their medical bills.
Additionally, nearly 1 in 10 Americans, or about 23 million people, face medical debt starting at $250, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
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