Your outstanding medical bills may indeed be reported to the credit
bureaus (some medical institutions report such debts, others don?t).
However, the impact of those outstanding expenses won?t necessarily be
devastating to your credit score.
I called EquiFax, one of the three major credit reporting agencies.
I spoke with a customer representative at Equifax: outstanding medical
bills can affect your credit score, but the impact will likely be
negligible. Equifax is far more lenient regarding medical bills, as
opposed to a debtor who went on a reckless shopping spree and ran up
exorbitant charges they then couldn?t pay.
So, while your score may be affected by outstanding medical bills,
those debts won?t weigh all that heavily against you. According to
Equifax, that shouldn?t have any significant impact on your score and
shouldn?t affect you if you are, say, hoping to get a home loan.
Furthermore, the credit bureaus wouldn?t receive any information on
the specifics of your illness or treatment.
I also contacted another major credit reporting bureau, TransUnion:
Mr. Clifton M. O'Neal, Director of Corporate Communications for
TransUnion, replied to my inquiry. Here?s his response:
? . . . ?reporting information to credit reporting companies is
voluntary. Some medical institutions may report the status of a
person's financial obligation or account to the credit bureaus, which
in turn could be reflected on a person's credit report and score.
?Additionally, if unpaid medical bills are turned over to a collection
agency and the collection agency reports information to the credit
bureaus, or if an unpaid medical debt results in a judgment or lien
being filed, then that information similarly could be included on a
person's report and reflected in the score.
?However, all medical information is coded and seen only as a general
financial obligation or collection account to anyone with a
permissible purpose under the law to view a person's credit report.
?The nature of the medical services and the medical service provider's
name are masked from display to anyone but the consumer himself,
except where the law expressly permits disclosure of that information
and where the consumer's consent has been obtained by the user of the
I hope you find this information helpful.
Google Answers Researcher