8 million fewer Americans have medical debt compared to 2020, federal report finds

The number of Americans with medical debt on their credit records has fallen since 2020, a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau report published Feb. 14 found. 

The percentage of Americans with at least one medical debt tradeline — past due debt amounts that appear on credit reports — declined from 17.7 percent in 2018 to 13.5 percent in 2022. 

Medical collections account for half of tradelines reported to debt collection agencies, according to the bureau's report. 

The White House touted the report's findings in a Feb. 14 news release. According to the release, 8.2 million fewer Americans have medical debt on their credit reports than in 2020. 

"One driver of these declines is the significant increase in the number of insured Americans over this period, a result of the President's strategy of protecting and strengthening the Affordable Care Act and lowering healthcare costs," the release said. 

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's report, medical debts still account for 57 percent of tradelines that end up on consumers credit reports. 

Upcoming changes by credit agencies to remove unpaid medical bills under $500 from credit reports should bring this number down, the bureau explained in its report, but half of consumers will likely still have bills larger than $500 on their accounts. 

Read more here. 

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