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Medical debt is a leading cause of financial strain

Medical care is expensive, and many in Tennessee lack the savings and financial resources to deal with an emergency. Just one illness or injury can cause a person to spend his or her life savings to keep up with the bills that quickly accumulate after a hospital stay or visit to the emergency room. Even when people have insurance and steady income, medical debt is a reason why many have to file for bankruptcy protection.

After the Affordable Care Act passed at the end of 2017 it gave many Americans access to insurance who needed it. A survey of 910 people who filed for bankruptcy between 2013 and 2016 revealed that even after the passage of this legislation, over two-thirds filed for bankruptcy due to or partially because of overwhelming medical debt. Researchers estimate this suggests that medical bills play a role in over 500,000 bankruptcies every year.

There are many reasons for this, including the fact that lower income individuals have trouble with credit and having enough to pay bills. Other reasons for this may include the fact that the cost of medical treatment remains high, and even coverage under the ACA may not cover very much. Consequently, many Americans are just one medical emergency away from serious financial trouble.

If a person is struggling with medical debt, there are options available. It may be helpful to explore how filing for consumer bankruptcy can provide hope for the future. Taking this step can offer a Tennessee consumer the opportunity to deal with his or her debt once and for all. 

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