The future is unpredictable, and medical emergencies can strike at any time. For many in Tennessee, unexpected injuries and serious illnesses can lead to significant medical debt, and they may not be able to keep up with the payments. Studies find that medical debt can be a problem for people who have insurance coverage and those who do not.
Over the last several years, rising health care costs have led to employers offering plans with higher deductibles, leaving employees to cover a significant portion of their own health care expenses. As recently as 2018, a startlingly high number of Americans were unsure that they could manage a medical bill of just $400. Costs for medical treatment continue to rise, leaving more and more people with bills that far surpass their ability to pay.
Medical care is one of the most significant expenses for Americans. Sometimes, a patient may go into the hospital for a planned procedure or an emergency room visit, and he or she may receive a bill a few months later for thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. This is a common occurrence; statistics indicate that one in four Tennessee residents has at least some medical debt.
Medical debt often leaves people making difficult decisions regarding their own health care. For example, a person may not get a type of treatment he or she needs because of already high medical bills. In situations involving an impossible debt burden, a person may want to consider filing for bankruptcy. This step can allow a person who is struggling with specific types of debt to discharge certain balances and achieve a better financial future.