People in Tennessee and across the country can be affected by medical expenses without warning. Even if they have a good amount of insurance coverage, if there are medical bills for surgical procedures, a long stay in the hospital, as well as aftercare, there can be massive costs that people simply can't pay. This is not an isolated incident and a study has shown that almost two million people were forced to file for bankruptcy due to medical bills in 2013 alone. This made medical expenses the top reason for bankruptcy filings.
Even with the Affordable Care Act expanding health insurance to many who did not have it before, many Tennesseans still struggle with medical debt. The increasing costs of healthcare together with stagnated wages and a struggling job market leave several people one medical condition away from financial ruin. Unfortunately, this happens to many individuals. Yet, there are things that can be done in an attempt to reduce hospital bills and obtain debt elimination.
There is a hope that new health care reforms will reduce the amount of strain medical debt places on Americans - including here in Tennessee -- and similar state health care reform programs seem to be showing some promise. According to a Nerdwallet Health study from 2013, medical debt is the leading cause of personal bankruptcies in the U.S., exceeding credit card debt and mortgage debt as causes of personal bankruptcy.
Medical debt is a big issue for consumers in the Tennessee. For many consumers, the promise of health insurance is a promise of freedom from financial ruin. Or at least that is what people would like to believe. According to a recently study, however, even with health insurance many people are still vulnerable to the financial challenges that too often occur when an unexpected medical condition occurs. Tennessee readers may find the following discussion on medical debt, health insurance and medical bankruptcy interesting.
Over the years, multiple studies have demonstrated the link between medical bills and bankruptcy filings in the United States. Among the most widely cited studies are two reports co-authored by Elizabeth Warren of Harvard Law School. In her 2001 study, Warren found that at least 46 percent of all bankruptcies were caused by medical problems. By 2007, that number had risen to more than 62 percent of all bankruptcies.