Consumers should pull their credit report at least once a year. About 20 percent of all Americans have some error on their report. Checking your report and taking corrective action is the only way to have the issues resolved. However, credit reports aren’t the only credit-related item that is problematic for consumers. Medical debt collectors are becoming a routine annoyance. Up to two-thirds of all who have complained about them say they don’t owe the money that is being asked. With this, what can consumers do to tell the difference between accurate and inaccurate medical debt?
Medical debt, spot the difference.
Medical debt is the second largest debt-related complaint that is issued. The issues related to medical debt are largely due to the current health care system and consumer confusion. However, overaggressive collectors going after the wrong people can pose an issue on debt collections. How do you tell if the debt you’re being asked for is accurate?
- Keep track your records and any treatments, office visits or hospital stays. If you’re in doubt, contact your health insurance provider to better understand what your plan covers as well as what your deductible and co-insurance is.
- Once you’re contacted by debt collectors, take note of the communications and refrain from making any payments until you can contact your doctor’s office or insurance provider to confirm you owe said debt.
- If you do owe for a treatment or procedure, don’t pay with a credit card. The interest you pay on the debt can affect you more in the long run.
- As we’ve stated before, check your report annually. Doing so can help consumers detect any errors before they have a chance to hurt your purchasing power or when applying for a loan or credit card. In case of medical debt, it’s common for debt collectors to put small amounts owed on your credit report. However, these small amounts are usually too small to go after the owner, so they sit there.