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Tennessee residents may need debt relief for high medical bills

For some Chattanooga residents, bill paying time can often be a difficult time full of hard choices about which bills are most pressing. For those with medical bills, those hard choices become even harder and debt relief may seem more and more out of reach.

There have been many studies that show that not only is it getting harder to pay medical bills but for some time it is actually going to continue to get harder. The surprising news is that even those people who are insured still face mounting debt from co-pays and other out-of-pocket costs. For many, medical debt has gotten so bad that they are forced to choose between taking medicine they need and putting food on the table for their family.

In one study, 85 percent of patients with chronic illnesses who applied for financial assistance from a nonprofit made $40,000 or less and one third of those had to survive on $20,000 or less. Even those with Medicare fared no better since the "doughnut hole" didn't cover some of the drugs they needed. Some people were even forced to buy needed drugs with credit cards.

This cycle becomes incredibly difficult for people and eventually they need some help facing their financial challenges. One way to eliminate mounting medical debt is to file for bankruptcy. Either a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be used to eliminate debt and to get a fresh start. In some cases, bankruptcy can also be used to prevent foreclosure.

For many people who have no other way to achieve much needed debt relief, filing for a consumer bankruptcy is one of the only ways to get help. After receiving a discharge, many people can finally breathe again after relieving the financial burden of a mountain of debt.

Source: U.S. News, "High Medical Bills Driving Some Americans to Extreme Measures," Karen Pallarito, Jan. 18, 2013

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Kenneth C. Rannick, P.C.
4416 Brainerd Road
Chattanooga, TN 37411

Phone: 423-624-4002
Toll Free: 800-257-7594
Fax: 423-624-0509
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