Vice President Kamala Harris said the Biden Administration is laying plans to remove medical bills from Americans’ credit score reporting process.
Harris said this is a step toward improving financial outcomes for people and could make it easier for the receive auto and home loans.
“Access to health care should be a right and not a privilege,” Harris said during a press conference earlier this month as reported by the Associated Press. “These measures will improve the credit scores of millions of Americans so that they will better be able to invest in their future.”
About 100 million adults are grappling with medical debt per a recent report from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The unpaid bills range from $500 – $10,000 the organization points out.
The Biden administration has been enacting steps to make credit worthiness a reality for more Americans as debt continues to plague many. For example, as of last summer, any paid-off medical debt previously in collections would stop being included on credit reports. Previously, despite the debt being satisfied, the collection would stay on credit reports for for seven years.
What’s more, Americans have up to a year unpaid medical debt shows up on credit reports once it goes to a collection agency—Also, any collection amount under $500 would not appear on reports.
As AP reported, CFPB director Rohit Chopra pointed out credit reporting companies Equifax, TransUnion and Experian announced in 2022 that they would stop reporting “some but not all medical bills on an individual’s credit report.”
The organization stated this causes issues as “mistakes and inaccuracies in medical billing are common,” and those clerical errors can immensely impact people’s lives.