February 04, 2005

Med Bills Cause 1/2 Bankrupcies

Half of Bankruptcies Due to Medical Bills, Harvard Study Says

A report on Feb. 2 by Bloomburg on a new study by Harvard University indicates that Half of U.S. bankruptcy filers say that out-of-pocket medical expenses led to their financial hardship -- and most of the people had health insurance, according to a Harvard University study.

The news story states that:

"For the study, researchers surveyed 1,771 filers in five states, and as many as 54.5 percent cited medical expenses as a reason for filing. In addition, the study showed about a 30-fold increase in medical expense-related bankruptcies since 1981.

``Cancer was the most expensive diagnosis, with average out- of-pocket expenses of $35,000,'' said Steffie Woolhandler, a professor at Harvard Medical School and an author of the study. Death caused by any disease totaled $17,283 on average, followed by neurological diseases at $15,560 and mental disorders at $15,478. Insurance premium payments were not included in out-of- pocket expenses. "

MOre information:

Health Woes Lead to Bankruptcy


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