Consumers in Tennessee may have more money to use for savings and purchases as across the United States, the median household income has risen by 30% in 10 years. While this is good news, Americans are dealing with medical costs that are growing faster than income. Since 2009, medical costs have gone up by 33%.

Many people have been forced to put medical bills on their credit card after a health scare or visit to the hospital. Unfortunately, they are dealing with punishing interest rates. There are a few strategies individuals can use to avoid putting medical bills on their credit cards.

When a person is hit with a medical bill that they are not able to pay in the moment, there may be a payment plan available through their health care provider. Monthly payments that do not include interest or fees may be arranged with some hospitals. Another option could be a medical credit card. With this option, the card issuer will pay the provider, and then the patient will pay the card issuer. This may be a good short-term option since card issuers often offer no interest for a year. However, individuals need to get the card paid off in full by the end of the promotional period to avoid fees.

While health insurance can be expensive, the cost of not having health insurance may be even greater. One study found that more than 60% of the individuals who filed for bankruptcy between the years 2013 and 2016 cited losing their job because of a health issue and medical expenses as the reason for their debt.

Bankruptcy may be the only option that some individuals have in order to get a fresh financial start. A lawyer may help an individual file the appropriate paperwork needed to start the bankruptcy process. They may also represent a client in court if necessary.