Being subjected to an unplanned illness or injury is a leading cause of financial distress. In recent years, medical debt has been a causal factor in the majority of bankruptcy cases, and there are many Arkansas residents for whom Chapter 7 is the only means of eliminating the debt burden brought on by medical bills. While each and every set of circumstances is unique, many people will eventually seek bankruptcy protection in response to these expenses. The following tips are offered to those who would like to try and reduce their medical debt on their own.

The first step lies in understanding your health insurance. Knowing what is covered and what is not can give individuals the power to assume a measure of control over their own health care. This is especially true in regard to preventative care, where leveraging one’s insurance benefits can bring overall improvements in health and well-being. Having a good grasp of your health insurance can also make it easier to manage medical bills if the need arises.

In most cases, it is an unexpected illness or injury that brings about financial turmoil. Faced with handling the needs of their loved one, family members often have little time or energy left to address the medical bills that begin to pile up. Before long, the situation becomes very difficult to gain control over. It is important to note that making contact with the insurance company at the onset can help, and will give the family a point of contact for any future questions or concerns.

Being proactive in managing insurance coverage is a great way to offset some of the stress and expense of health care. That said, there are many instances in which no level of management will make a large enough impact to avoid financial strife. When medical debt becomes overwhelming, many Arkansas residents will turn to Chapter 7 bankruptcy as a means of eliminating those financial burdens and moving forward with a clean slate.

Source: Fox Business, “How to Predict the Size of Your Next Major Medical Bill“, Oct. 6, 2015