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.
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.
When a consumer experiences an unexpected medical condition there is little option but to see a doctor, regardless of their financial situation. As a result, it is not uncommon for consumers to face huge medical debt that far exceeds their ability to pay. In fact, as many Tennessee readers already know, medical bills or outstanding medical debt is one of the leading causes of bankruptcy filings in the Untied States.
Some commentators like to paint bankruptcy as some moral fault, stemming from a person's desire to shirk their responsibilities. However, the reason people file for bankruptcy in the United States is often the result of more complex factors, outside the control of the consumer. In fact, one of the main reasons people file for bankruptcy in the United States is the result of medical bills, associated with sudden, unexpected conditions.
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.
There are many ways for consumers to get themselves into hot water financially. Two of the most common methods are medical expenses and credit card debt. While these two are often discussed separately, medical bills and credit card debt often go together. In fact, some credit card companies are now offering "medical credit cards," which some consumer advocates argue are causing more harm than they are helping at the intersection between credit card debt and medical debt.
The effect of medical expenses and healthcare costs on the financial stability of many American families is astonishing. While it has been reported on multiple occasions that medical debt is a leading cause of filing for bankruptcy, the actual numbers rarely get discussed. A recent study, however, looked at both the U.S. numbers of medical debt bankruptcy filings as well as the rate of bankruptcies in neighboring Mississippi.
Unexpected medical conditions and tragic accidents can have serious, long-term financial consequences that far exceed the immediate health trauma such events can bring about. Much of this is the result of the exorbitant costs associated with healthcare in the United States. In fact, as Tennessee readers already know, medical debt and healthcare costs are the number one cause of personal bankruptcy in the United States today.
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.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 54 million Americans, or nearly 20 percent of the population, had difficulty paying their medical bills in 2012. The high cost of medical care in the United States continues to plague consumers throughout the country. While there may be little that any one consumer can do to control costs, there are ways to stop medical bills from going to collection.