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What are the options when facing high medical debt?

Tennesseans struck with poor health face a double whammy: deteriorating health and ballooning medical debt. In these circumstances, a person needs to do what it takes to get their health in order and then figure out how to handle the avalanche of bills. What are the options for handling those bills?

The first thing to know is how to minimize the predicament before it starts. In many instances, Tennesseans can reduce or eliminate the cost of a medical procedure before it happens. How so? By doing some research. Before getting a procedure done, call your health care provider to see if the procedure is covered. You may discover that you will need to change doctors or hospitals to maximize your coverage.

If insurance does not fully cover the procedure, research whether you qualify for other programs or aid. Medicaid or Medicare may pay for the procedure. So too might a local charity. If you are not sure what charities might help, begin with a call to United Way.

If those sources do not address the problem, a final option is to speak with the hospital about what it can do to help. Many hospitals have programs to aid cash-strapped patients with medical procedures.

Hopefully some combination of these options can stop a huge medical bill before it begins. But for far too many, the reality is far different. For these individuals, a fourth option may be best - filing for bankruptcy. Indeed, many choose this option every year. For example, in 2013, medical bills were the leading cause of bankruptcy across the country.

Individuals in this predicament may benefit from discussing their situation with an experienced medical debt attorney. Doing so could be an essential first step towards choosing the right path forward.

Source: bills.com, "How to Handle Medical Bills Debt," Accessed Feb. 8, 2016

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

Toll Free: 888-376-0282
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