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Medical bills reach devastating heights in America

Tennessee readers know how debilitating an unexpected medical condition can be. In addition to large medical bills from hospital stays and doctor visits, people faced with an unforeseen sickness often lose time at work, resulting in financial challenges being compounded. This is just one reason why medical debt is quickly becoming a real hardship for American's and why readers may find the following blog on medical debt and bankruptcy interesting.

According to an article published in Roll Call, the Kaiser Family Foundation has reported that one in three Americans are having difficulty paying back medical debt. The Kaiser Family Foundation further reported that while paying for treatment, around 28 million United States citizens emptied their savings, 21 million are paying off credit card bills, and another 21 million are struggling to pay for every day needs. Furthermore, the problem does not seem to be getting better.

The article further notes that the problem with medical debt is so pervasive in the United States that medical debt is now the number one reason people file for bankruptcy, surpassing both credit card-related bankruptcy filings and mortgage-related bankruptcy filings. In fact, nearly 62 percent of people who file for bankruptcy in the U.S. cite medical debt or financial challenges related to medical bills as the primary issue giving rise to their financial collapse.

While there are a number of proposals floating around for addressing the issue of medical debt and medical debt-related bankruptcy, at the moment there are few options. One option that does exist, however, is to discuss the matter with an experienced debt relief professional. From talking to creditors to negotiate repayment plans to filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, there are a lot of debt relief strategies available to those who are struggling. The key is to sit down and find what option is best for an individual's specific situation.

Source: Roll Call, "Medical Debt: The New Norm for Patients in America," Nancy Davenport-Ennis, April 30, 2014

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Mark T. Young & Associates
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