Medical debts accounted for more than half of all collection items on credit reports.
Over 71 million U.S. adults currently have medical debt in collection, and medical debt still leads the pack as the top reason collection agents contact consumers, according to the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC). While the ACA includes protections that aim to curb aggressive billing by nonprofit hospitals, it hasn’t been enough to stem the tide of medical debt – nor to address gaps in state and federal law that fail to protect consumers once the debt has been acquired, transferred to collection agencies, or sold to debt buyers.
There is a proposed rule from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that tips too far in favor of collection agents, allowing them – among other things – to contact consumers up to seven times per week, per debt; send important legal notices by email or text; resurrect “zombie debts” that have passed the statute of limitations. The rule applies broadly to all types of debt collection, but would have a major impact on health care consumers. If anyone needs help navigating provider billing these days, it’s patients – not collection agents.
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Source: Article courtesy of communitycatalyst.org