Presentation on theme: "Non-Credit Data and Credit Files Washington, DC September 23, 2010 Medical Payment Data: Accuracy and Implications Mark Rukavina, Director The Access Project."— Presentation transcript:
Non-Credit Data and Credit Files Washington, DC September 23, 2010 Medical Payment Data: Accuracy and Implications Mark Rukavina, Director The Access Project firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com (617) 275-2825
The Access Project National health research and advocacy organization supporting local health access improvement efforts Mission: work to strengthen community action, promote social change, and improve health, especially for those who are most vulnerable Provide technical assistance to local efforts through research, policy analysis, community engagement, and communication services Nationally recognized for expertise on issue of medical debt
Todays Presentation Background on Consumer Credit Reports Data on Healthcare Affordability and Medical Debt Accuracy of Medical Payment Data on Reports Medical Debt and Asset Building Strategies for Mitigating Medical Debt Short Term - Negotiating Reduction of Medical Debt and Elimination of Payment Data Long Term Systems Change - HR 3421 – Medical Debt Relief Act Questions
Consumer Credit Reports Contents of a report include: Identifying Information - name, current and previous addresses, marital status, Social Security Number, date of birth, spouse's name, number of dependents, and employment information. Credit Information - credit account numbers, the creditor's name, the amount of last payment, the credit limit of the account and the timeliness of the credit payments. Public Record Information -tax liens, court judgments, and bankruptcies. Inquiry Section – list of all creditors that have requested and reviewed a copy of the credit report.
Consumer Reporting Agency Data Approximately one billion consumer credit reports are issued annually in the United States One billion credit cards are in use in the United States Four and a half billion pieces of data are entered monthly into credit records The Big Three - Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, maintain 200 million credit files, in the United States
Unaffordable Health Care Costs Plague American Families 72 million American adults (41%) under the age of 65 experienced medical bill problems Problems paying or unable to pay medical bill Contacted by a collection agency for unpaid medical bill Changed way of life in order to pay medical bill Medical debt or medical bills being paid off over time
Average Annual Worker and Employer Contributions to Premiums and Total Premiums for Family Coverage, 1999-2010 * Estimate is statistically different from estimate for the previous year shown (p<.05). Source: Kaiser/HRET Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Benefits, 1999-2010. $5,791 $6,438* $7,061* $8,003* $9,068* $9,950* $10,880* $11,480* $12,106* $12,680* $13,375* $13,770*
How Important Are Medical Bills to American Families?
Medical Accounts on Credit Reports More than half (52%) of accounts in collection are medical bills 28 million American adults were contacted by a collection agency for unpaid medical bills
How are Medical Bills Reported to the Consumer Reporting Agencies? According to Experian, data provided directly by medical providers account for only 7/100s of one percent of their data TransUnion states that medical debts are not typically reported unless they become delinquent and are assigned to collections Bills in collection are considered major derogatory accounts and lower credit scores
Why Are Medical Bills Sent to Collection? Millions of Americans have bills sent to collection because they are confused about what they owe and what their health insurance covers. According to one recent survey: Nearly 40 percent of respondents did not know what services they were supposed to pay for, or the amount they owed Nearly one-third (31 %) let a medical bill go to a collection as a result.
Medical Debt and Trade Lines on Credit Reports Lower credit scores and increase the cost of credit Can influence potential employer hiring decisions
In general, if a credit background check revealed information that presented the job candidates financial situation negatively, what types of information are MOST likely to affect your decision to NOT extend a job offer? Source: Society for Human Resource Management, Survey Report Conducting Credit Background Checks
Short-term Strategies for Correction Medical Data on Credit Reports Verify Accuracy of Information on Credit Report – annualcreditreport.com Remove bills reported to collection in error Pay Medical Accounts in Collection Negotiate reduction in bills Agreement in writing from collection agency that account will be deleted from credit report when paid in full
Legislative Proposal Removal of Paid-off Medical Accounts from Credit Reports HR 3421 and S 3419 – Medical Debt Relief Act Requires removal of fully paid or settled medical accounts from credit reports within 45 days of achieving zero balance due on account HR 3421 Voted favorably out of House Financial Services Committee awaiting action by full House S 3419 Awaiting action in Senate
Questions? Mark Rukavina, Director The Access Project firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com (617) 275-2825