Will Unpaid Medical Bills From My Accident Hurt My Credit Score?

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According to a 2014 study by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 43 million American have overdue medical debt on their credit reports. Medical bills are likely to arise after an accident and can quickly add up.

Even if you have insurance, there might still be a portion of the bill that you are responsible for. In addition, the medical billing system can be complex and frustrating, and it can take time to determine what part of the bill you actually owe. There may even be discrepancies in the bills you receive that lead to back and forth communication with your insurance provider. These are just some of the reasons that lead to unpaid medical bills, which can unfortunately affect your credit score.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, call Zinda Law Group at (800) 863-5312 for a free consultation with a Tucson personal injury attorney.

Why Shouldn’t I Delay Payment?

Failure to pay a bill affects the biggest factor that determines credit scores: payment history. So if you ignore your bill because you think your insurance will pay, the medical provider will eventually send the unpaid bill to collections. Debt collection can cause your credit to take a hit in a big way, dropping a score anywhere from 50 to 100 points.

Additionally, these collection accounts remain on your credit report for up to seven years. However, medical collections will drop off your report if the bills are paid by your health insurance.

Not All Scores Are Created Equal

You have multiple credit scores, and each can be impacted in various ways. Medical collection accounts carry less weight on the latest version of your FICO score, the FICO 9 model. However, the most widely used report, FICO 8, takes account of all small collection amounts over $100 and treats all collections the same whether they are paid or unpaid.

New 180-Day Waiting Period

As of September 15, 2017, the three credit reporting agencies are required to follow a 180-day waiting period before putting an unpaid medical bill on your credit report. Any unpaid medical bills that are later paid by your insurance will be removed instead of damaging your score further. This new waiting period provides time for the insurers, doctors, and patients to examine and remedy any billing disputes or discrepancies.

Understand What You Owe

Keep up to date on your medical bills and make sure you don’t have an outstanding balance. Many people end up in collections because they don’t pay a bill that they assume their insurance will pay. Make sure you understand your policy and follow up with your insurer if you are not sure what portion of a bill you are responsible for.

Our Tucson Accident Attorneys Can Help You Seek Compensation

At Zinda Law Group, our Tucson accident lawyers know that injuries can result in not only physical and emotional burdens but also financial ones. We have helped thousands of clients recover compensation for their injuries, and we will fight tirelessly to help you seek maximum recovery for damages related to your accident, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages due to missed work, pain and suffering, and much more.

Call Zinda Law Group today at (800) 863-5312 for your free consultation with an experienced Tucson injury lawyer. Meetings with attorneys by appointment only.