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Chapter 7 could help Tennessee residents laden with medical debt

When many Tennessee residents think of medical expenses, the typical issues that come to mind are treatments for illnesses. However, it is also important to remember that dental issues also fall under medical treatment, and therefore, these issues can contribute to a person being burdened with medical debt. Mounting medical bills are a particular concern for older adults, especially since many dental procedures are not covered by certain insurance. Needing an expensive procedure may lead to a person looking into their finance options, but Chapter 7 bankruptcy should not be forgotten as an option.

Unfortunately for some older adults, dental procedures can become increasingly expensive as the need for dentures arises. One woman gave her account of being informed that she was in need of a partial denture that would cost over $5,700. Because her insurance would only cover part of that amount, the woman stated that she would not be able to afford the denture. Her dentist, however, offered her a credit card option that was supposedly intended to help spread out the payments.

This offer is one that is becoming increasingly more common toward older adults needing dental and other medical procedures. Unfortunately, it may not be as helpful as those offering it make it seem. While opening a line of credit allows bills to be paid up front to service providers, the person using the credit must later deal with the interest that adds up as the balance on an account is paid down over time. If a person is unable to reduce the balance quickly enough, the interest associated with the account can lead to an even more detrimental financial situation.

Older adults are often working from a fixed income stemming from retirement and Social Security funds. If these funds are being depleted due to debt, the affected parties can face significantly negative circumstances. Exploring debt management options that are offered in Tennessee, such as Chapter 7 bankruptcy, could help a person burdened with debt find a clear way out of a financial situation as opposed to leaving an individual hoping they will be able to reduce their debt by making minimum payments over time.

Source: The New York Times, Patients Mired in Costly Credit From Doctors, Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Oct. 13, 2013

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