One of the most common reasons people file bankruptcy is due to costs for medical care. In fact it’s so common that it’s called “medical bankruptcy.” The primary culprit is lack of health insurance leading people to seek emergency room care, charging it on credit cards, and then discharging it in chapter 7 or chapter 13 Las Vegas bankruptcy. According to research reported on NBCNews.com, one new study connects cancer and increased bankruptcy filings. Here are five things you need to know about it:
(1) Published in the medical journal Health Affairs, researchers at the Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research matched nearly 200,000 people who were listed in a Washington state cancer registry with an equal number of people from the same ZIP codes. Then they compared the number of people in both groups that had filed bankruptcy. Their findings: Between 1995 and 2009 4,408 people who had cancer filed bankruptcy compared to 2,291 bankruptcies in the non-cancer group. Those with cancer were 2.5 times more likely to file bankruptcy than those who were cancer free.
(2) Cancer bankruptcy was less common for people aged 65 and up, the primary reason being that they were covered by Medicare and Social Security. By contrast, people under 65 were ten times as likely to file cancer bankruptcy.
(3) Cancer bankruptcy rates differed by the type of cancer people had. For example, prostate cancer, which strikes older men, led to fewer bankruptcies. By contrast, thyroid cancer led to bankruptcy the most because it affects younger women.
(4) Shockingly, previous studies have shown that three-quarters of all debtors who file medical bankruptcy had private health insurance when they were first diagnosed. Often, insurers will only cover treatments but not diagnostic tests.
(5) The effect the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which is commonly referred to as “Obamacare,” will have on medical and cancer bankruptcies is unknown. Although some people speculate that the law will reduce bankruptcy filings, analyses of Massachusetts’ health care law found no effect because the insurance coverage was so minimal that it didn’t prevent patients from taking on enormous amounts of debt to stay well.
You can read the article here.
Cancer can afflict anyone at any age, and because the U.S. health care system is so expensive, cancer can be quite costly. If you developed cancer and borrowed money to pay for your treatment, and you can’t repay the loans, an experienced Las Vegas bankruptcy lawyer can help you solve your debt problems.
For more questions about bankruptcy in Las Vegas, please feel free to contact an experienced Haines & Krieger Las Vegas bankruptcy attorney for a free initial consultation. Call us at 1-702-880-5554 to set up your free consultation.