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Unexpected medical conditions can lead to Tennessee bankruptcy

If there is one thing that everyone learned in the wake of the federal health care debate, it is that millions of Americans currently live without health insurance. While health insurance may seem trivial, the consequences of not having it can be severe. For the many Tennessee residents who have faced similar financial challenges, even bankruptcy, because of a health scare and medical debt, the following story of one person's struggle will seem all too familiar.

The story began shortly after the woman's 30th birthday when she got a cold. She noticed that along with the cold the side of her face had gone numb. After the numbness continued for a number of weeks she went to the emergency room. After being admitted, the doctor ordered a CAT scan that showed concerning results. The doctor then ordered an MRI. Shortly after having the MRI the woman's neurologist informed her that she had multiple sclerosis.

Fortunately for the woman, she does have health insurance through her work. Unfortunately, MS is progressive and eventually she will be unable to work. The drug her doctor prescribed to slow the progression of the disease would cost $2,800 a month without insurance. Her current prescription, a few years after being diagnosed, would cost $3,600 a month without insurance. That would amount to a staggering $43,000 a year in needed medication alone.

This woman's story just shows how easy it is for a family's financial situation to get turned on its head. Prior to the diagnosis, the woman and her husband were saving for a house and retirement. When the MS progresses to a state that she can no longer work, these funds will not last long. After that, bankruptcy may be the only way for the woman's family to save their home, their assets and their daughter's educational future.

Source: Forbes, "Why My Disease Could Send My Family Into Bankruptcy," Stephanie Casey and Libby Kane, Jan. 9, 2013

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

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