Tuesday, March 23, 2010

People with Healthcare account for 45% of personal bankruptcies

New Study: Bankruptcy Tied To Medical Bills

Washington Post — Sixty-two percent of all bankruptcies filed in 2007 were linked to medical expenses, according to a nationwide study released today by the American Journal of Medicine. That's nearly 20 percentage points higher than that pool of respondents reported were connected to medical costs in 2001.

Of those who filed for bankruptcy in 2007, nearly 80 percent had health insurance. Respondents who reported having insurance indicated average expenses of just under $18,000. Respondents who filed and lacked insurance had average medical bills of nearly $27,000.
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Health Care Without Bankruptcy, Please

Huffington Post — What kind of an America would we suddenly create if the President were to sign into law a health care bill with a mandate to buy private insurance? An America where millions would be covered, but bankrupt, broke, financially kaput. And unhealthy, too.


You guessed it. All the fever-pitched, media-amplified ranting about "death" that has dominated the health care debate has likely done little more than obscure the ultimate sticking point for many Americans: a bill that would mandate--require by law--all Americans to buy private health insurance.
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Health care related bankruptcy is on the rise, study says

Consumer Reports — Americans are increasingly at risk of financial ruin due to illness and medical expenses, according to a new study released yesterday by the American Journal of Medicine. The researchers found that illness or medical bills contributed to nearly two thirds, or 62 percent, of all bankruptcies in 2007—before the major impact of the housing collapse and current economic downturn. That’s a 50 percent increase over a similar survey in 2001 by the same researchers.

Most of the debtors are middle aged, middle class and have a college level education, and each of them has their own story. Take Donna, from Chicago (right) who told us her bankruptcy story during our Cover America Tour. Donna’s husband had already been diagnosed with a heart condition, and when she found out she had uterine cancer, their out-of-pocket costs shot up to $9,000 a year. When they fell behind on their bills, one of her doctors sued to garnish her wages, which forced her and her husband into bankruptcy. They ended up losing their house, she gave up her job at a newspaper, and they moved into their daughter’s basement until they could afford a small apartment.
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