Too many Tennesseans struggle with medical debt. An unexpected disease or an accident could leave an individual with unmanageable debt, leaving him or her concerned not only about his or her physical health, but also about his or her financial well-being. One aspect that may worry those who have medical bills is how the debt will affect their credit.
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.
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.
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.
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.