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Potential legislation may help those with surprise medical debt

When a Tennessee resident has medical insurance, he or she may not expect to have to pay much out of pocket when visiting a doctor, going to the emergency room or scheduling a necessary procedure. Unfortunately, many actually find themselves facing unexpected medical debt, even when they go to an in-network provider or hospital. It's an unpleasant surprise to learn that certain services are not covered and no one told them about it.

This tactic has been in use for awhile, and it is one reason for overwhelming medical debt for many consumers. The problem is extensive enough to have caught the attention of the U.S. Congress. There is proposed legislation that would make the health care billing process more fair for consumers, eliminating the issue of surprise bills. Some doctors and other groups oppose this proposed legislation, arguing that it would negatively impact vulnerable patients.

However, a deeper look into these claims finds that this is not true. There is no logical connection between vulnerable patients who rely on Medicaid and surprise billing for other patients. Some believe this push back is simply a way to protect the financial interests of some doctors, insurance providers and hospitals. 

Surprise medical debt can be overwhelming for many Tennessee patients. These individuals may not have the resources to cover their payments, and in some cases, consumer bankruptcy may be a logical way forward. Potential applicants may find that this course of action allows them to deal with specific types of debt and achieve a better and more stable financial future. 

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