8 Tips for Getting Rid of Medical Collections on Your Credit Report
Updated: Feb 17
Have medical debt that’s got you stressed, or maybe it’s already gone to collection and you need to know what your next move should be?
No worries, you’re not alone.
According to The SIPP survey, it’s been discovered that people in the United States owe at least $195 billion in medical debt, (6% of adults) in the U.S. owe over $1,000 in medical debt, and (1% of adults) owe a medical debt of more than $10,000.
That’s despite having health insurance!
So what should you do, if you find yourself among the millions of Americans with unpaid medical bills?
How do you remove medical collections from your credit report?
8 simple ways this can be done
#1: Ask yourself, have my HIPPA rights been violated?
While this is a good question reporting your unpaid medical bills to collections is not a violation of HIPPA Laws.
The collection agency knows more than they should about you.
Here’s what I mean!
Although HIPPA does not regulate the collection agencies, it is against the law for collection agencies to know your diagnosis and treatment.
Most collection agencies are not very knowledgeable about their industry restrictions and therefore, could be unaware that they've violated your HIPPA rights.
To gather that information, you can ask as many questions as possible about the medical bill to gain information about what they know. They may inadvertently know more than they should.
If they do, you can ask that the medical bill be pulled back by the medical provider or settle the debt by threatening a lawsuit for the violation of HIPPA Law.
Collection agencies will want to avoid a lawsuit, so learn your rights and investigate what they know about your medical diagnosis and treatment.
But if you find that HIPPA Laws were not violated, here are a few other steps to take to deal with medical collections.
Now that you know there was no violation of your HIPPA rights, you can dispute the medical bill to have it removed from your credit report.
Have the credit bureau investigate the collection agency to verify the bill is yours and/or that your insurance has not paid the bill.
It sounds shocking that you could pay a bill that has already been paid, but this happens all the time.
So don’t dismiss the thought that a mistake could happen.
Also, make sure that the bill is at least 6 months old, medical bills should not go to collections until they're at least 6 months old.
Sometimes, due to mistakes by the medical billing department, your bill could be sent to collections too early.
If that’s the case, file the dispute to get it out of collections and set up a payment plan with the medical agency.
#3 Pay Medical Bills
If you can afford to do so, you should pay your medical bills before they go to collection. If you can’t pay the full amount, you can set up a payment plan.
Make sure you get an agreed-upon amount in writing, this will ensure that you avoid collections for making payments that are too small or late.
Yes, your account can go to collections if your payments are too small.
But, if the medical bill has already gone to collections and you can afford to pay it, do so. You can also set up a payment plan with the collection agency. Again, get everything in writing to protect yourself.
#4 Bring your Bill below $500
If you get your bill below $500, it will not show on your credit report.
No, this is not fake news!
Beginning in July 2022, to give consumers relief, medical bills under $500 should no longer appear on your credit report.
So if you have a bill in collections and it's accurate, you can put yourself on a budget to pay it down to $500 or below, and it will not hurt your credit score.