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Proper planning may help families to avoid medical debt

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Bankruptcy is often given a bad rap by Cuyahoga Falls residents. Many may view it as simply a way for irresponsible individuals to get out of having to pay their debts. Yet a majority of people who seek bankruptcy protection are forced into doing so by circumstances that are beyond their control. Chief among these is medical emergencies. No one ever anticipates having health problems, and thus many are unprepared to deal with the expenses associated with them. It should not be surprising then that medical debt has become the most common reason why Americans file for personal bankruptcy.

Yet having to deal with medical bills needn’t automatically condemn one to financial doom. Proper planning can prepare one for having to meet such expenses. One of the top priorities people should have is gaining a complete understanding of their insurance coverage. Much has been made recently about the shift that many insurance carriers have made to offering free services, such as preventative care. But one should be sure to read the fine print in his or her policy to understand what constitutes these free services. Often, they are contingent on the patient meeting certain criteria in order be considered free.

Another step that one can take to help prepare for emergency medical costs is to create an emergency fund. A quick glance at one’s expenses from the prior year or simply going off of his or her current deductible can provide a starting point for such a fund.

Of course, planning for such medical expenses doesn’t guarantee one will be completely capable of dealing with them. Should one’s medical debt get out of control, he or she may need help beyond what planning can provide. A bankruptcy attorney may be a good source of such help.

Source: Fox News “Avoid these mistakes when budgeting for health expenses” Lacie Glover Mar. 19, 2014

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