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How can Tennesseans reduce their medical bills?

Even with the Affordable Care Act expanding health insurance to many who did not have it before, many Tennesseans still struggle with medical debt. The increasing costs of healthcare together with stagnated wages and a struggling job market leave several people one medical condition away from financial ruin. Unfortunately, this happens to many individuals. Yet, there are things that can be done in an attempt to reduce hospital bills and obtain debt elimination.

First, those facing expensive medical bills should consider their finances and then speak with their hospital's billing department about setting up a payment plan. Hospitals want to be paid for their services, and they often are willing to work with patients in order to acquire the money they are owed.

Second, individuals should obtain an itemized bill and scrutinize it thoroughly. About 50 percent of medical bills contain errors, which can leave individuals with a significant amount of undeserved debt. By looking through the bill and finding mistakes, an individual can speak with his or her hospital about getting overcharges removed.

Third, medical debtors can seek to negotiate their bill. If one is unable to pay in full or is unlikely to be able to do so through a payment plan, then he or she can seek to settle the debt for less than its full worth. This can be tricky, but it is far from impossible.

In the end, medical debt remains the leading cause of personal bankruptcy. In fact, nearly 60 percent of all personal bankruptcies are fueled by medical debt. Those who are overwhelmed by unmanageable debt should consider speaking with an attorney about debt relief options. Filing for bankruptcy may be a choice for a medical debtor, and may allow him or her to escape insurmountable debt and find financial freedom.

Source: WFMY News 2, "Medical Debt: How To Manage It & Ways To Negotiate Your Bill," July 16, 2014

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Mark T. Young & Associates
2895 Northpoint Blvd.
Hixson, TN 37343

Toll Free: 888-376-0282
Phone: 423-933-1606
Fax: 423-877-0363
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