If unpaid medical bills are sold to a collection agency and reported as a medical collection, they can hurt your credit scores, just like any other collection account.
However, with the newest credit scoring systems, now beginning to be adopted by lenders, if you pay a medical collection off, it will not be included in the score calculation, so paying that medical collection could help your credit scores right away.
In older credit scoring systems, which remain the predominant scores in use, paying a medical collection can still help. The further in the past the debt was paid, the less effect it will have on credit scores. So, paying the collection can help your scores recover more quickly, even if it is not right away.
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Scoped on: 05/03/2016