This week NCCS joined a diverse group of advocacy groups in endorsing the bipartisan Medical Debt Relief Act of 2015 (H.R. 2362). Medical debts can remain on patients’ credit scores for up to seven years, even after they have been paid or settled, lowering his or her credit score and dramatically affecting the ability to open a new loan or receive a reasonable interest rate. Yet, medical debt is not considered to be predictive of an individual’s future creditworthiness. Representatives John Carney (D-DE) and Andy Barr (R-KY) introduced the legislation, which would amend the air Debt Collection Practices Act and provide additional time for consumers to work out charges prior to medical debt being placed on the consumer’s credit report. It would also require credit reporting agencies to remove medical debt from a credit report within 45 days of the debt being either settled or paid in full. For many facing chronic illness, including cancer, high medical bills can create significant and unexpected burdens. People with cancer deserve to focus on their treatment and recovery, rather than the financial hardship caused by their illness.
View the Group Letter of Support for the Medical Debt Relief Act of 2015. [PDF Format] (Also embedded below)