Medical bills are putting people in debt
By: Darrell Castle
Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare in Memphis will cut 75 jobs and reduce spending by almost $50 million. This is due to falling reimbursements – America’s medical industry’s new reality.
“The current healthcare environment is presenting financial challenges for hospitals across the country.” said Gary Shorb, Methodist LeBonhuer’s CEO, in an email to employees.
Memphis’ economy has been fueled by the medical industry in recent years with more than $300 million worth of hospital expansions and 10,000 new health industry jobs over the last decade. However, rising health care costs are finally catching up the this regional medical hub.
It’s not only businesses and the employees being affected by rising health care costs, but consumers are too.
According to a Kaiser Family Foundation article, 1 in 3 Americans report having trouble paying their medical bills, meaning they’ve had problems affording medical bills within the past year, they’re gradually paying past bills over time or they have bills they just can’t afford to pay at all. The result is medical debt and it’s costly.
As a Memphis bankruptcy attorney, I’ve seen people struggling with debt for many different reasons, and medical debt is a popular one. All it takes is for one unexpected incident like a job loss or a medical emergency (both of which pertain to this situation) to put us in a financial hole if we aren’t prepared, and many of us aren’t.
This speaks to the importance of saving money. The rule of thumb is to have at least three months worth of salary in your savings account to be able to pay your bills just in case you unexpectedly lose your source of income or you receive a huge bill due to an unexpended incident (like a medical emergency). For some, this may not seem realistic, but it’s something to strive for, and anything along the way will help. You just need that cushion to be able to fall back on.
You may be reading this and thinking it’s too late. You’re already behind on your medical bills and can’t pay them because you didn’t have enough money saved up. Here in America, we don’t have to live enslaved to our debt – we can get out through the bankruptcy process.
By filing for bankruptcy, you can discharge your debt through a Chapter 7 or lump it all into an affordable 3-5 year repayment plan through a Chapter 13. By doing so, you’ll have a clean slate and fresh start after the bankruptcy process is complete and you can use this fresh start to begin spending money the right way.
At Darrell Castle & Associates, we not only want to help you get out of debt through the bankruptcy process, but we also want to help lead you on to a better financial life by equipping you with the right tools. That’s why we offer you access to a great 14-week program called “7 Steps to a 720” in which you’ll learn secrets the banks don’t want you to know in regards to re-establishing and rebuilding your credit the right way. This program normally costs $1,000, but since we pay for our clients to take it, it’s free for them.
If you have any questions or if you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, you can speak to one of our experienced bankruptcy attorneys, free of charge, by filling out the “Get in Touch” form below or by calling us at (901) 327-2100.