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:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... Francesca Loparco, Co-Founder of Queen City Dream ... a same-day LASIK procedure at Christenbury Eye Center. The entrepreneur struggled with ... her surgery the same day as her in-office consultation and eye exam. Francesca’s eyesight ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... Pharmacy Times ... that it was chosen as the Pharmaceutical News Provider of the Year in ... acknowledge the hard work and dedication of community members who strive to make ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... 04, 2016 , ... Bayco Products has announced the introduction ... flashlights in models NSP-9842XL and NSR-9844XL . , First previewed at SHOT ... 2 included CR-123 batteries to produce up to 650 lumens in a variety ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... ... billing and compliance. In upcoming months, AudioEducator has lined up some informative training ... is designed to give complete compliance know-how and practical, easy-to-apply advice. , On ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... Boulder City, Nevada (PRWEB) , ... May 04, 2016 , ... ... against bladder infections. Bladder infections, also called UTIs, have plagued people since the ... medicine, millions of women get bladder infections every year. It's not just a matter ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/3/2016)... 2016  Specialty Silicone Fabricators is offering teachers ... a cleanroom works. The free visual aid provides ... technology. Chris Mazelin , ... SSF enthusiastically supports the Science, Technology, Engineering and ... next generation of innovators. We want to provide ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... 2016 Norgine B.V. ... einen entscheidenden Meilenstein durch diese Veröffentlichung zur  ... Handeln, um Patientenresultate  bei Verdauungs- und Lebererkrankungen ... im Verständnis der Hepatischen Enzephalopathie bei und ... Hepatische Enzephalopathie in der Öffentlichkeit zu schaffen ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... May 2, 2016  While nearly three-quarters of Americans ... have on their health, only about half report taking ... the results of a new survey announced today by ... start of National Osteoporosis Month, Hologic is raising awareness ... nearly 56 million Americans. Osteoporosis is a ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: