The answer to can they send you to collections because of medical bills is yes….
Medical debt is totally different than any other type of debt. Medical debt is only related to one’s health. None of us choose or can predict when we will get sick or be in an accident. . When unpaid, medical bills are often sold to debt collectors and can be reported to credit bureaus. Unpaid medical bills turned over to collections can hurt your credit score, making it difficult to get loans, buy a house, or get a low-interest credit card.
With the cost of insurance deductible being so high many times the health care system often has unpaid debt. As stated before no one plans to get sick or get hurt. If someone doesn’t pay their medical bill, the health care provider will attempt to collect that debtor may send it to a medical collections agency. When you consider high deductibles and the additional 20% typically due to medical treatment it can cause a hardship on families.
Your medical bill is considered past due if you make no attempt to either pay it or arrange a payment plan. Majority of cases, the payment period is 90 to 180 days from the initial billing date. There is no set time before a bill is considered past due by law.
Once an unpaid bill is considered a business loss, then providers can turn it over to an in-house or third-party medical collections agency. They will try to contact the debtor and collect using letters and phone calls. They can charge penalties, interest, or settle for less than the original bill amount in order to receive a return on their investment. If a debt remains unpaid, a medical collections service can file a civil lawsuit seeking an outcome like garnished wages or the seizure of personal property, such as automobiles or real estate.
Don’t let it affect your credit score…
You see even before the debt is turned over to medical collections, an unpaid or past due bill may be reported to credit bureaus. Don’t worry the debt will not appear on your credit report until 180 days after the initial report is made, at which point it appears as “account in collections.” Not all unpaid debts are reported to credit bureaus.
Medical collections can only reduce an individual’s credit score, as on-time payments are not tracked by credit bureaus. If an unpaid bill is reported, the person’s credit score will be reduced for seven years, even if the bill is eventually paid off.
A lower credit score can affect an individual in numerous ways. One’s credit score is used to determine the probability that they will pay future financial obligations, so a low score can affect one’s:
- Access to loans and credit cards
- Interest rates, which are lower for those with a good credit score
- Cost of insurance, because in some states, medical collections can affect home, auto, and life insurance premiums
- Security deposits for utilities, since utility companies base the deposit amount on one’s credit history
- Many employers use credit checks as a method of determining employment or promotions
Medical collections can have a huge impact on one’s financial future. It is important to immediately address any medical bills, whether you can pay them off or need to work out a plan of repayment. Contact the health care provider to make arrangements for a payment plan so that the bill is not seen as unpaid and sent to a medical collection agency.
Contact the credit as soon as you receive a bill. Make arrangements and not take a chance on hurting your credit score.