A recent survey by Tebra, a leader in practice automation solutions for independent healthcare practices, delves into the public’s sentiments regarding the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) proposed changes to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The focus is excluding medical bills from credit reports, a potential game-changer for millions of Americans struggling with medical debt.

The CFPB’s proposed changes, introduced in April 2022 by Vice President Kamala Harris, aim to alleviate the burden of medical debt by prohibiting consumer credit reporting companies from considering medical debt in credit reports. If finalized, this policy shift could end coercive collection practices, offering substantial relief to individuals facing financial setbacks due to medical debt.

Tebra’s survey revealed that only 32% of Americans surveyed feel they are well-informed about the CFPB’s recent proposal to exclude medical bills from credit reports. Despite the limited awareness, there is substantial support for the CFPB’s initiative, with almost 80% of surveyed individuals expressing their endorsement. This widespread support signals a collective desire for a more compassionate approach to addressing the medical debt challenges. A positive takeaway shows more than 60% of surveyed Americans hold an optimistic view, believing that the CFPB’s initiative will enhance their financial well-being and contribute to a sense of peace of mind.

Tebra’s findings highlight the urgent need for improved communication and public awareness campaigns to ensure that Americans are well-informed about the proposed changes and the potential relief they could bring. Many Americans face challenges related to healthcare costs, with over half reporting difficulty paying medical bills on time or in full. The burden of medical debt has hindered access to credit, loans, and housing for 90% of individuals, contributing to financial strain and anxiety.

During this time of economic instability, it’s no surprise that 62% of respondents expressed that removing medical debt from their credit reports would substantially improve their mental and financial health. The sentiment underscores the potential positive impact of the CFPB’s proposed changes. By acknowledging the unique challenges posed by medical debt, the CFPB has an opportunity to foster greater financial stability for countless individuals.

Tebra’s survey, representing the perspectives of 1,000 Americans, emphasizes the critical need for policy changes that prioritize Americans’ financial and mental well-being. As the CFPB contemplates this pivotal shift, it has the potential to pave the way for a healthcare system that better addresses the impact of medical debt, offering hope for a brighter financial future for all.