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Medication causing unmanageable debt, bankruptcies

Many Americans struggle with their medical bills. In some cases an unexpected condition and/or operation leaves an individual or family with insurmountable debt, but medical bills can also rack up from prescription medication. These drugs, though many times helpful, can cost hundreds of dollars per pill, quickly hacking away at an individual's financial stability. In a matter of time, many of these individuals find themselves with unmanageable debt and fear for their financial future.

Nearly $41 billion was spent out-of-pocket in 2013 on prescription drugs. Though the Affordable Care Act has expanded insurance coverage to many Americans, the complicated terms of insurance plans may leave individuals with coverage gaps or unfavorable terms that leave them holding the bag for a significant portion of their medical expenses. When this happens, an individual can quickly find himself or herself drowning in unsuspected and undeserved debt.

Unfortunately, this problem is quite common. In fact, medical debt is the leading cause of bankruptcy filings, and more than 50 million people in the U.S. struggle to pay their medical expenses. Those who have trouble affording their medication often turn to credit cards, whose high interest rates can also wreak havoc on an individual's finances.

When it seems like there is no way out of the despair imposed by the black hole of debt, individuals and their families may be able to find debt relief and, in many instances, debt elimination. For medical debt, this is often achieved by filing for bankruptcy. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy, in particular, allows an individual to eliminate debt after assets, with a few exceptions, are sold and proceeds paid to creditors. Though many fear this process, it is a profound step to reclaiming an individual's life and happiness. Those who are concerned with their finances should therefore consider speaking with a Tennessee bankruptcy attorney.

Source: CNBC, "Medication costs fuel painful medical debt, bankruptcies," Dan Mangan, May 28, 2014

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Mark T. Young & Associates
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Hixson, TN 37343

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