Regardless of whether or not a person in Mississippi has health insurance, there is almost always the likelihood that they will be left with out-of-pocket costs. Sometimes those costs may be relatively minor such as a co-pay for a standard office visit. However, these expenses not covered by insurance can add up quickly when an illness or emergency occurs.

When people struggle with the ability to keep up on these payments, their credit may be impacted. Similarly there may be times when a health insurance company is slow to make their portion of a payment and this may also wreck havoc on a consumer’s credit report. According to Experian, there was more than $120 billion of medical debt in collections as of last June. A 2014 study conducted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau revealed that 52 percent of all debt on consumer credit reports was related to medical expenses.

With more than 143 million people in the U.S. facing unpaid medical costs reported on their credit reports per the study, some recognized the need for help. As such, the three major credit bureaus instituted a change last fall. For now, medical debt will not be reported to credit bureaus until it is at least 180 days overdue. The goal is to allow people time to make payments or to work with their insurance companies to arrange proper coverage.

NerdWallet indicates that consumers still bear a lot of the burden for medical costs even when insurers are responsible for the costs. People need to follow up with their insurance companies to make sure payments are processed fully and on time.