Can Unpaid Or Partially Settled Doctor Bills Go On Your Credit Report?
This is a little embarrassing, but here it goes…
I am one of the many Americans struggling in this down economy. I have always considered myself financially and personally responsible, but I am not working and my unemployment benefits have run out. So, I am living off limited savings while trying to meet my child support obligations and just meeting basic survival needs (food, shelter, gas, etc).
Several months ago, I started experiencing health problems, so I decided to see a doctor and get it checked out. At the same time, one of my children had health issues and had to get a lot of lab work done.
I have health insurance for my kids and I (I am required by my divorce decree to carry health insurance for them), but I am only able to buy what I call Catastrophic Coverage. In other words, it has a high deductible ($ 2500 per person per year) so all expenses up to that point come out of my pocket before the insurance kicks in.
Well, in this case, the medical expenses I incurred and the medical expenses my daughter incurred are in the thousands, but because we are both below the $ 2500 deductible mark, none of it is covered by our insurance.
So, I have been scrambling to try to come up with the money to pay these debts, but have been unsuccessful. I do have credit cards, but I do not want to pay a debt with a debt and then pay high interest fees on top of that.
So, I may have to default on these debts and I am wondering if this will be reflected on my credit report (making my situation worse). I am asking this because I know that when you open a credit account (e.g., credit card, mortgage loan, etc) and then do not pay on time or default, then those do go on your credit report.
But I am unclear as to whether the patient accounts my daughter and I have with our doctors are considred “credit accounts” and can be reported to the credit bureaus.
Can someone please help clarify this for me?
I feel really bad because I would immediately pay my debts if I had the resources to do so. I am not a deadbeat trying to avoid paying a bill. Just hard timing right now and wanting to know what I am up against.