My husband has 3 accounts in collection agencies. The 2 accounts are for medical debts and the third one is for a credit card. We can pay off the credit card but not the medical bills. So, what should we do? Should we ignore the medical bills or dispute them?

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Thanks for sharing your problem with me!!! Now let me try to help you out.

Ignoring your medical bills is a bad idea especially if they’re genuine. Usually, medical bills are sent to collection agencies when the hospital authorities have failed to retrieve payments from you in spite of making several attempts. So, I guess you’re late already.

Anyway, the first thing you need to consider is the statute of limitations, You haven’t mentioned when this debt was incurred and where. Check the statute of limitations period (SOL) in your state and find out if it has expired for your medical debt. Usually, the SOL period varies between 3 and 6 years and it starts from the day you went past due.

You can easily ignore the debt if the SOL period is already over. In fact, you can send a Cease and Desist letter to the CA. The collection agency can’t sue you for medical debts. But the medical debts will be there on your credit report for 7 years. Just remember that and it will surely hurt your credit score.

If the SOL period is going expire soon for this debt, then the CA will create a lot of pressure upon you. They will try their best to make you acknowledge the medical debt or at least make a small payment on it. This will help to reset the SOL clock. So talk tactfully with the collection agency both in mail or phone.

If the SOL period will not expire soon and the bill amount is correct, then you can consider some medical debt relief options in your state such as:

Debt settlement - It’ll help you get rid of the medical bill by paying less than the full amount.

Debt consolidation - It’ll help you get out of medical debt within a span of 2 and 5 years through affordable payments.

Bankruptcy - It’ll help you pay off medical debt by liquidating your assets.

If you’re not interested to go for these medical debt relief options, then check out some other ways to get help.

Don’t ignore the medical debt since you can face lawsuits for it. The possible consequences will be:

  • Harassment
  • Wage garnishment
  • Bank account compromised
  • Drop in your credit score
  • Insurance company may refuse to reimburse (if you’ve an insurance policy)
  • Reduce chances to borrow money

Do you have any insurance policy? You haven’t talked about it yet. If you have, then knock the door of your insurer, give him the medical bill and get it paid. If there’s any problem, then have a talk with the insurer and medical service provider as soon as possible. Sometimes, problems crop up just because there is an error in the medical bill code.

Should you dispute the medical bills on your credit report?

It is better to dispute medical bills on your credit report when they are not genuine or you don’t owe them. You can use this letter to dispute the account status. But if the account status is correct, then it will be there on your credit report for the next 7 years. You can’t do anything even after disputing medical bills that are now in collections.

Last but not the least,

If you feel that there are some errors in your medical bills, then you’ve to dispute medical bill charges with the hospital. And next time, try to solve medical billing issues as soon as possible. Negotiate with the medical service provider and try to opt for the available flexible plans. This would help you save both time and money.

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Last Updated on: Fri, 8 Jun 2018