The Fair Credit Reporting Act prohibits listing information on your report that jeopardizes your medical privacy. Often, this means medical debt doesn't appear unless it goes to collections, says Ulzheimer.
One possible exception: Pay with a credit card or through a third-party lender and the balance could show as a regular debt, minus any medical information, he says.
In collections, medical debt can pop up on a credit report. But privacy rights are still in effect.
For Experian, the report lists the item as medical debt, along with the balance, default date and collection status. There is "no information on the type of condition treated, where you received the treatment, the name of the medical collection company -- anything that would be of concern," Griffin says.
For Equifax, the report includes "the name of the creditor (i.e., medical corporation, treating agency, doctor's office) but would not include information denoting that it is for medical services," says Costello. If the provider's name breaches confidentiality, the provider more than likely would report using the "parent company or holding entity" instead, she says.
For TransUnion, says O'Neal, it includes the balance in collections and that it's medical debt, with no information on providers or services.