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Thread: How badly does an unpaid medical bill affect credit?

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    Default How badly does an unpaid medical bill affect credit?

    I went to an urgent care recently & didn't get any blood work or any lab anything done & got a bill from them for $1000. I literally saw the Dr for 5 mins & he just looked at my leg & sent me home. I'm not paying that bc it's insane & I don't have insurance right now bc I don't qualify.

    How bad does it affect my credit if I don't pay it?

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    Default Re: How badly does an unpaid medical bill affect credit?

    Maybe ask for an itemized receipt, talk that down if possible, and request a payment plan if it's still a high bill.

    In general though, doctors offices have one price for insurance and another much lower one for uninsured patients.

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    Default Re: How badly does an unpaid medical bill affect credit?

    Do tell them you don't have insurance, there will be a lower price. Ask for a payment plan, even if you tell them you can only pay $10 per month. If they agree, do keep your commitment. Don't be afraid to speak up, most of these places just assume insurance will cover it.
    (My son was recently staying at a hotel for a friend's wedding, had a small cut, asked the front desk for a bandaide, they said it was their policy to call an ambulance. Bills for the $1,800 ambulance ride are still coming despite insurance that will supposedly pay it... #BrokenMedicalSystem)

    Quote Originally Posted by lol1337a View Post
    Maybe ask for an itemized receipt, talk that down if possible, and request a payment plan if it's still a high bill.

    In general though, doctors offices have one price for insurance and another much lower one for uninsured patients.
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    Default Re: How badly does an unpaid medical bill affect credit?

    Ok , I'll do that then, I couldn't believe that amount. Wasn't even a hospital or ER, just said urgent care.
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    Default Re: How badly does an unpaid medical bill affect credit?

    You can go on Credit Karma and they have a predictor tool that will predict how positively/negatively certain actions will affect your credit. In short? Refusing to pay a bill and letting it go to collections will make your credit take a severe hit.

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    Default Re: How badly does an unpaid medical bill affect credit?

    I did hear from multiple people that medical bills don't really affect it as much as say an unpaid credit card, etc. Basically that they dismiss medical bills when trying to get an apt, car, etc.
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    Default Re: How badly does an unpaid medical bill affect credit?

    They don't really. I had an ER bill that I let stay in collections for a similar amount & it never bothered me through several apartments & 2 car loans. I felt the same as you, "I'm not paying that simply because it's absurd".

    The new FICO model gives you 180 days before they're allowed to send it to collections, if you change your mind. VantageScore also treats medical debt as less important for your score than other collection types, so there's that too.
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    Default Re: How badly does an unpaid medical bill affect credit?

    Quote Originally Posted by Selina M View Post
    They don't really. I had an ER bill that I let stay in collections for a similar amount & it never bothered me through several apartments & 2 car loans. I felt the same as you, "I'm not paying that simply because it's absurd".

    The new FICO model gives you 180 days before they're allowed to send it to collections, if you change your mind. VantageScore also treats medical debt as less important for your score than other collection types, so there's that too.
    That's a relief to hear I was gonna pay it of it were like $100 or something realistic but 1000 they can eat it lol.
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    Default Re: How badly does an unpaid medical bill affect credit?

    Quote Originally Posted by xxxGothBarbie View Post
    That's a relief to hear I was gonna pay it of it were like $100 or something realistic but 1000 they can eat it lol.
    Great attitude, but if you called and said you don't have insurance and offered 100 to settle the debt without further hassle for anyone, they would probably take it. Medical providers on average only get 10-15 percent of the bill anyway, that's partly why costs are so inflated.
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    Default Re: How badly does an unpaid medical bill affect credit?

    Quote Originally Posted by Selina M View Post
    They don't really. I had an ER bill that I let stay in collections for a similar amount & it never bothered me through several apartments & 2 car loans. I felt the same as you, "I'm not paying that simply because it's absurd".

    The new FICO model gives you 180 days before they're allowed to send it to collections, if you change your mind. VantageScore also treats medical debt as less important for your score than other collection types, so there's that too.
    Just a few years ago uninsured were 3 times as likely to declare bankruptcy due to medical bills, and 29% of lower income people who declared bankruptcy say that medical bills drove them to it. Now to hear the bureaus tell it:
    "VantageScore 4.0 will be the first to largely ignore several types of negative credit-file records, such as medical-collections accounts, tax liens and public records. "
    VantageScore 3.0 already ignores paid collections.
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    Default Re: How badly does an unpaid medical bill affect credit?

    I was uninsured for ever and used to go to the er for things as simple as uti bc i didnt want to pay cash at a dr. And thankfully its never shown up on my credit. Ive gotten billed before but out of sight out of mind. Worst advice ever. Dont be like me hhaha

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    Default Re: How badly does an unpaid medical bill affect credit?

    Quote Originally Posted by CFMNH44 View Post
    Do tell them you don't have insurance, there will be a lower price. Ask for a payment plan, even if you tell them you can only pay $10 per month. If they agree, do keep your commitment. Don't be afraid to speak up, most of these places just assume insurance will cover it.
    (My son was recently staying at a hotel for a friend's wedding, had a small cut, asked the front desk for a bandaide, they said it was their policy to call an ambulance. Bills for the $1,800 ambulance ride are still coming despite insurance that will supposedly pay it... #BrokenMedicalSystem)
    They can't bill you for an ambulance if you refuse to get in it or their service. If you're still conscious then you can refuse an ambulance and they will go away without billing you. If he didn't call them, he should be able to dispute those charges. Unless he hopped in the back for the worlds most expensive bandaid?

    To the op call the billing department and question each and every charge. And then see what you can get removed.

    I had to go to a hospital back in July and I received two different bills. They'd charged me for blood work and a catscan thingy twice? Ask lots of questions and then set up a payment plan once all of your questions have been answered. Then pay the agreed upon amount on time to avoid having it reported to credit agencies. Its kinda like buying a car, never accept the price on the ticket.

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    Default Re: How badly does an unpaid medical bill affect credit?

    I agree with everyone above. Medical debt is the most common debt in America.

    I used Dave Ramsey’s settlement letters from his book. Just make sure you send it so you get a receipt for the letter and/ or payment.

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    Default Re: How badly does an unpaid medical bill affect credit?

    I have insurance, but I routinely ask for the cash price. Usually it's a lot lower than the "insured" price. Also, if you go to a not-for-profit hospital like Duke University Hospital, and you really can't afford the bill, just say so. They will make you a deal for what you can afford. It's a part of their mission.

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    Default Re: How badly does an unpaid medical bill affect credit?

    I had my moment in the ER from debilitating pain in my stomach where I could hardly move and rivaled child birth. Their itemized BS is unreal. I only got a urine sample and it was like 1750 for walking in and for like 5-10 minutes. They overcharge for everything. I would consider negotiating the price down.

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    Default Re: How badly does an unpaid medical bill affect credit?

    I'm not paying it I've decided. My credit is already bad anyway.
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    Default Re: How badly does an unpaid medical bill affect credit?

    Have you checked your FICO? If you haven't recently, it's probably a good idea anyway
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    Default Re: How badly does an unpaid medical bill affect credit?

    I don't know what the general rule is, but once I went to the ER for a bad cut, in which a physician's assistant spent a few minutes to put in 5 stitches. I was sent a bill for $750 and I never paid, because I'm not going to pay $750 for 5 minutes of a physician assistant's time and a short piece of thread. It didn't have any effect on my credit rating. When I went to my family doctor to have it removed, I was charged around $60, which I did pay, because that was a reasonable price.

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    Default Re: How badly does an unpaid medical bill affect credit?

    Quote Originally Posted by eagle2 View Post
    I don't know what the general rule is, but once I went to the ER for a bad cut, in which a physician's assistant spent a few minutes to put in 5 stitches. I was sent a bill for $750 and I never paid, because I'm not going to pay $750 for 5 minutes of a physician assistant's time and a short piece of thread. It didn't have any effect on my credit rating. When I went to my family doctor to have it removed, I was charged around $60, which I did pay, because that was a reasonable price.
    That's EXACTLY where I'm at I'm not forking over $1000 for 5 mins of some Dr telling me I had a muscle strain LOL
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    Default Re: How badly does an unpaid medical bill affect credit?

    Did you try to negotiate? I could understand not paying 1k but payments of 25-50 a month for say a 600 bill to avoid having a negative mark on your credit is worth the time it takes to argue with the billing department in my opinion

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    Default Re: How badly does an unpaid medical bill affect credit?

    As a note

    Do not pay it on a credit card

    Do not finance it

    Do not sign any financial documents


    Do pay them small amounts

    10 bucks here and there makes an honest attempt


    Do negotiate the amount if you have enough money to pay the negotiated amount


    Many of these bankruptcies are caused by borrowing money to pay the medical debt

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    Default Re: How badly does an unpaid medical bill affect credit?

    Honest payment (in my opinion and experience) never affected credit. As long as you are in contact and pay $10 roughly a month. I had a $500 co-payment after my insurance paid it. It hasn't gone to collections.

    Fight collection if you have a valid case too. At least look into it. I had one go to collections when I had insurance and I had it remove cause the clerk had all my info wrong and I never received the bill.

    I have the money but I couldn't bare seeing the whole 500 go to it and once and I pay $10 a month. It's all psychological really. And it affects me less to give up $10 a month.

    My opinion is not legal advice but just my experience as I am not a lawyer.

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