Do Medical Bills Affect Your Credit Score?

Updated on November 15, 2019

You’ve got health insurance but are still facing medical debt. This problem is not uncommon in America. Even having “good” health insurance isn’t a guarantee against high medical bills.

Out-of-network bills and high deductibles can both lead to you not paying medical bills as fast as you’d like. The debt can pile up fast. People in that scenario often ask, “Do medical bills affect your credit?”

They do, but not in the same way as credit card bills, for instance. Keep reading to find out how unpaid medical bills can change your credit score.

Do Medical Bills Go On Your Credit? 

Let’s say you have to go to the emergency room after slipping on ice in winter. You try to do everything right. You even check to see if your emergency room is in-network.

You get treated and go home that same night. You’re in pain, but feel good that you at least won’t be dealing with surprise medical bills.

Until one day, a bill for $5,000 arrives in the mail. It turns out one of the ER doctors who treated you was not in-network.

It’s possible for out-of-network doctors to treat you at in-network hospitals. It’s another bizarre aspect of America’s confusing healthcare system.

You have no way to pay that bill, so you don’t. At some point, the hospital will turn your information over to a collections agency.

If you don’t pay up then, the collections agency will report it that to the credit bureaus. At that point, your credit score should drop. 

Do hospital bills affect credit? They do if you don’t try to pay them. Some hospitals will turn your bill over to collections within two or three months. Others may wait six months or longer.

Resolving Unpaid Medical Bills

That sounds scary, but you have a little more power than you think. Even setting up a payment of $25 or $50 a month could be enough to keep those unpaid medical bills off your credit report.

Call the hospital’s billing department and ask about a payment plan. They may not advertise it, but many billing departments will work with you.

What if creditors are already calling you many times a day for bills you don’t feel like you owe? In that case, it’s time to consider talking to a consumer protection lawyer. 

Gregory Fishman and Resolvly can help with your lawsuit. You have certain rights. Creditors won’t tell you about those rights, but they still exist.

In America, most people filing for bankruptcy do it because of unpaid medical bills. Medical collections on a credit report can do more than ruin your credit. It can ruin your entire life.

If you’re getting sued over medical debt, you can’t wait to challenge it. Many people hope that if they ignore or block the calls, it will all go away. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works.

Do Medical Bills Affect Your Credit? 

The answer to “Do medical bills affect your credit?” is yes. It may take longer for those bills to show up your report. But if you don’t pay, it will show up sooner or later.

The business of healthcare is complex, but we’re here to help. If this article was useful, bookmark our page. We’ve got plenty more articles about the financial aspects of healthcare. 

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.