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Medical debt afflicts Tennesseans

Individuals in Tennessee who are dealing with health problems are often contended with unanticipated financial consequences. A report issued earlier this year by the Sycamore Foundation claims that medical debt is prevalent in this state.

According to the report, 24% of Tennesseans with a credit report had credit histories that contained medical debt. This was the 10th highest in the nation. Half of these Tennesseans had at least $739 in medical debt. Most of Tennessee's demographic and socioeconomic groups have this debt, according to available data. Groups with lower income or levels of education and people of color, however, carry more medical debt.

Medical bills may also cause financial problems even if they are not large. The Federal Reserve conducted a national survey that revealed that 40% of adults said that they would have problems paying any unanticipated $400 expense in 2017.

Medical debt may be associated with the ability to receive health care. People with this debt have a higher likelihood of suffering poor health but are less likely to have access to needed health care or prescription drugs. In general, bad debt can also lead to health problems such as high blood pressure, cause stress and lead to risky and unhealthy conduct such as excess drinking, poor nutrition and smoking.

People with unexpected medical debt may spend down their savings or seek higher-cost financing methods. This, in turn, may create a cycle of debt. Their financial proboles are further compounded because they are more likely dealing with other debt such as credit card debt, student loans, mortgages and short-term and high-interest payday loans. According to estimates, 51% of Tennesseans with medical debt said that they took out a payday loan within the last five years.

Medical debt also has long-lasting and serious consequences. Having this debt in a credit history can impact its financing terms and costs. Unpaid medical bills may have a role in home foreclosures, according to some research. Medical debt also restricts economic mobility by harming credit history and scores, which restricts access to loans and mortgages. It may limit employment opportunities and rise the cost of access to utilities and housing.

An attorney may help deal with this type of unmanageable debt. They can help provide options and obtain legal protections while an individual determines a debt relief solution that works best for them.

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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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