Equifax, Experian and TransUnion are jointly introducing the first phase of changes to the reporting of medical collection debt that were announced earlier this year.
Effective July 1, 2022, all medical collection debt that has been paid by the consumer in full will no longer be included on U.S. consumer credit reports. In addition, the time period before unpaid medical collection debt will appear on a consumer's credit report is being increased from six months to one year, giving consumers more time to address their debt before it is reported on their credit file.
These changes precede an additional measure set to occur in the first half of 2023, namely the removal of medical collection debt with an initial reported balance of less than $500 from credit reports.
“We are dedicated to fostering the economic health of individuals and communities,” said Mark W. Begor, CEO Equifax; Brian Cassin, CEO Experian; and Chris Cartwright, CEO TransUnion. “Unexpected expenses, such as the cost of an unplanned medical visit, can be a hardship for many families. These changes will realign our approach to medical collection debt reporting in a manner that is designed to help consumers focus on their personal well-being.”
Most healthcare providers do not directly report to Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The changes being made by the Nationwide Consumer Reporting Agencies (NCRAs) are designed to assist consumers who have medical debt that has been sent to a collection agency for recovery. Before this joint measure, if a healthcare provider turned a consumer’s overdue account over to a collection agency for non-payment, the collection agency could report that information to the NCRAs after a 180-day (six month) period.
Equifax, Experian and TransUnion are also providing free weekly credit reports through the end of 2022 via AnnualCreditReport.com.