By law, everyone is entitled to one free credit report every 12 months from each of the three credit reporting agencies.  In 2020, given the effects of Covid on the economy, the three agencies agreed to temporarily make free credit reports available each week.  This was subsequently extended through the end of 2023. The clock is ticking. 

Human Health Advocates suggests that its clients periodically check their credit reports.  Sometimes medical debt has been posted without their knowledge, other times there is medical debt posted wrongfully—In such instances the blemishes on one’s credit report should be removed.  Nearly 1-in-5 households in the United States has reported having some form of overdue medical debt. Patients and their families are contacted by debt collectors about medical bills more than any other type of debt, and it commonly results in negative information appearing on credit records. In fact, in 2021, 43 million people allegedly had unpaid medical bills on their credit reports. Many of these could greatly use the help of a medical debt advocate, like Human Health Advocates. We assist when your medical debt has been sent to collections. 

Recently, credit reporting agencies made several pro-consumer changes regarding credit reporting of medical debt.  First, medical debt under $500.00 is entitled  to be removed. Sometimes medical debt is posted that discloses the name of a subsequent purchaser of the debt rather than the medical provider.  If you see any medical debt listed on your credit report under $500.00, contact the reporting agency promptly and dispute the posting to have it removed. Caveat: the removal does not apply to debt paid with a credit card.  
To obtain your free reports, go to: .  

 You might have debt reported of which you are unaware. You might have medical debt that was paid off that remains on your credit report to this day. Don’t rely upon the credit reporting agencies to do everything correctly. They could easily overlook a reported medical debt that is entitled to be removed. Take a few moments and obtain and review your free credit. It could improve your credit score measurably.

To obtain your free reports, go to: .  

For a more comprehensive explanation, see the Consumer Finance Protection Board’s article: “Have Medical Debt? Anything Already Paid or Under $500.00 Should No Longer Be On Your Credit Report”, 
Several Other changes have been made by the credit reporting agencies that are pro – consumer. We shall continue to bring these matters to your attention, in hopes of mitigating the sting of medical debt.

The real and lasting damage often done regarding medical debt occurs when it is reported, subsequently paid off, yet remains on the patient’s credit report for a full seven (7) years.  That is no more.  Paid medical debt is eligible for immediate removal from the credit report.   Accordingly, one should check their credit report for old medical debt that may have been resolved and seek to have it removed from their report.  Protect your credit score. Obtain and review your free credit report this year. It may be time well spent. 

Human Health Advocates has successfully aided consumers with medical debt for nine years. Its founder, Kenneth Klein, is a board-certified patient advocate, former mediator(Florida)and former practicing attorney(retired 2014).Mr. Klein has successfully negotiated resolutions to significant hospital debt more than one hundred (100 )times on a national basis. He has prepared  numerous successful insurance appeals, reversing denials of coverage for medical charges. Contact Human Health Advocates for a free consultation if you have problems with hospital or other medical debt. We have been on a quest to help patients and families resolve medical debt issues since we opened in 2015. 

More to follow about changes in collections rules, medical debt in collections, and how to dispute medical collections, in the next post.