Unpaid medical bills are rising up against people and haunting them daily. Collection agencies are at their best calling everyone to remind them that they still have a debt to pay.
Provided unpaid medical bills impact millions of Americans, it’s important to be aware of how such outstanding debt can impact your credit. Detweiler’s 2012 article also outlines four costly medical bill myths. Here are the takeaways below:
Myth 1:As long as I am making payments on a medical bill, it can’t be sent to collections.
While this can be the case, factors such as the size of your payments as well as payment tardiness can play a role. If your regular payment is merely a tiny percent of your overall debt or your payment arrives a day late, a provider can pass on a bill to collections.
Myth 2:I have to be notified before a medical bill is turned over for collections.
It’s not uncommon for a debtor to first learn that their unpaid medical bill has been turned over to collections by a call or letter from the collection agency itself. By this time, the damage may already be done.
It is important that you pay up these debts because they will affect your credit score. You should also continue paying even with a bad credit score.
Myth #1. If an unpaid medical bill is sent to a collection agency, it won’t affect my credit score the same way that an unpaid credit card bill would.
Fact: Whenever an unpaid debt is sent to a collection agency, it appears on your credit report as a negative item. It doesn’t matter if it’s unpaid credit card debt, an overdue loan payment, or a medical bill that hasn’t been paid in full: your credit score will be impacted the same way.
Myth #5: If I have unpaid medical debt that has already been sent to collections, I probably shouldn’t even pay it if it won’t make much of a difference in my credit score.
Fact: Even if you don’t see a major improvement in your credit score, it’s still important to pay off the debt. Otherwise, you could be sued for the unpaid debt, which can result in a judgment. Not only can this wreak havoc on your credit score, but you may also be subjected to wage garnishment.
There are other myths concerning health insurance. Are you confident that that you can manage the escalating healthcare costs? Are you protected in case something happens to you?
Myth #1: “I am as healthy as a horse. It is unlikely that I will get a critical illness in my lifetime.”
True, that would be ideal; however, the statistics show that, in the United States alone, 1 in 3 individuals will contract some form of cancer. The same proportion of men is likely to suffer from a stroke or develop heart disease before the age of 60!
What makes your current health status ideal is that you are eligible for this type of insurance. Do you know when most people want to purchase Critical Illness insurance? When they can’t get it . . .
Myth #2: “I have health insurance through my employer. This medical coverage will take care of me.”
It is true that your medical insurance will pay a portion of your bills; however, the rise in medical costs and increasing deductibles may not fully cover you. Twenty percent of insured Americans, today, struggle to pay their medical bills; will you have the funds available to pay the gap between your medical bills and current healthcare coverage?
Critical Illness insurance is not meant to replace your current medical plan. By supplementing your current healthcare coverage, a critical illness policy can not only assist you in bridging the gap, but provide you with money to pay the additional out-of-pocket expenses associated with a critical illness.