Navigation Links
Over 60 percent of all US bankruptcies attributable to medical problems
Date:6/4/2009

New York, NY, June 4, 2009 In 2007, before the current economic downturn, an American family filed for bankruptcy in the aftermath of illness every 90 seconds; three-quarters of them were insured. Over 60% of all bankruptcies in the United States in 2007 were driven by medical incidents. In an article published in the August 2009 issue of the American Journal of Medicine, the results of the first-ever national random-sample survey of bankruptcy filers shows that illnesses and medical bills contribute to a large and increasing share of bankruptcies. The share of bankruptcies attributable to medical problems rose by 50% between 2001 and 2007.

Following up on a 2001 study in 5 states, where medical problems contributed to at least 46.2% of all bankruptcies, researchers from Cambridge Hospital/Harvard Medical School, Harvard Law School and Ohio University surveyed a random national sample of 2,314 bankruptcy filers in 2007, abstracted their court records, and interviewed 1,032 of them. They designated bankruptcies as "medical" based on debtors' stated reasons for filing, income loss due to illness and the magnitude of their medical debts.

Using identical definitions in 2001 and 2007, the share of bankruptcies attributable to medical problems rose by 49.6%. The odds that a bankruptcy had a medical cause were 2.38 fold higher in 2007 than in 2001.

According to the study, a number of circumstances propelled many middle-class, insured Americans into bankruptcy. For 92% of the medically bankrupt, high medical bills directly contributed to their bankruptcy. Many families with continuous coverage found themselves under-insured, responsible for thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs. Out-of-pocket medical costs averaged $17,943 for all medically bankrupt families: $26,971 for uninsured patients; $17,749 for those with private insurance at the outset; $14,633 for those with Medicaid; $12,021 for those with Medicare; and $6,545 for those with VA/military coverage. For patients who initially had private coverage but lost it, the family's out-of-pocket expenses averaged $22,568.

Because almost all insurance is linked to employment, a medical event can trigger loss of coverage. Nationally, a quarter of firms cancel coverage immediately when an employee suffers a disabling illness; another quarter does so within a year. Income loss due to illness was also common, but nearly always coupled with high medical bills.

Writing in the article, David U. Himmelstein, M.D., states, "The US health care financing system is broken, and not only for the poor and uninsured. Middle class families frequently collapse under the strain of a health care system that treats physical wounds, but often inflicts fiscal ones."

"This study provides further evidence that the US health care system is broken," according to James E. Dalen, M.D., M.P.H., University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson. "Medical bankruptcy is almost a unique American phenomenon, which does not occur in countries that have national health insurance. These long-time advocates of a single payer system give us another compelling reason to work toward this goal as a nation."


'/>"/>

Contact: Pamela Poppalardo
ajmmedia@elsevier.com
212-633-3944
Elsevier Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Cardinal Health Increases Quarterly Dividend By 25 Percent
2. Niutang to Expand Sucralose Capacity 66 Percent by 2012
3. New Virginia Poll: 71 Percent of Voters Strongly Support FDA Regulation of Tobacco Products
4. National study finds youth baseball-related injuries down 25 percent
5. New Initiative Poised To Reduce Maternal Mortality Rates By More Than 25 Percent
6. MedPro Imaging Reports 118 Percent Growth For First Quarter
7. Consumer Reports Poll: Thirty-One Percent of Americans Never Use Sunscreen
8. Sales of Antiretroviral Agents Will Drive Substantial Six Percent Annual Growth in the HIV Drug Market Through 2013
9. GlaxoSmithKline Travel Health: 55 percent of travellers needlessly put themselves at risk from a potentially fatal virus
10. Fewer Than One Percent of Infertile Couples Who Need Treatment Receive It - Website to Bridge Gap Between Infertile Couples and Fertility Clinics
11. Novel therapy may prove effective in treatment of 30 percent of cancers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... ... Each year, the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) offers a Combined Sections Meeting. ... Almost 10,000 physical therapists across the country are expected to attend this annual convention ... field and network with their colleagues. As in years past, HydroWorx is proud ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Coco Libre, the maker of coconut water beverages with a ... Lounge Event. Coco Libre will offer musicians and celebrities the company’s signature Organic Coconut ... invitation-only gifting suite, held this year at the W Hollywood Hotel, has become a ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... Lean Leadership Series at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital on April 5-7. The ... new behaviors and create new habits. The workshops cover a broad range of ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... PITTSBURGH, Pa. (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... ... space heaters. , This winter the West Penn Burn Center, part of ... Fire Company #1, to bring you the “Space Heaters Need Space” campaign. ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... ... AssureVest Insurance Group, a locally owned insurance firm with offices serving Washington ... earmarked to purchase computers and software for Mrs. Harrison’s 2nd and 3rd grade special ... low-income area and has more than 60 2nd and 3rd graders with learning disabilities. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... - Cardiac Marker Diagnostic ... and Cancer Therapy. - European Point of Care ... - Key Diagnostic Testing Markets. - Molecular ... Genetic Testing. - Molecular Diagnostics in Infectious Disease ... Diagnostic Products World Markets. - Point of Care ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... SAN FRANCISCO , Feb. 11, 2016  Kindred ... focused on saving and improving the lives of pets, ... Technical Section of the New Animal Drug Application (NADA) ... the pivotal field study (KB0120) of Zimeta for the ... by the Company. --> ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... 11, 2016  NOIT™ Research LLC, a private, leading-edge ... Change" campaign to assist needy families in obtaining one ... sold between February 10, 2016 and March 31, 2016, ... family. The NOIT is an auditory stimulus that plays ... language skills. Beth Shier , NOIT ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: