New study definitively links medical bills with bankruptcy

New study definitively links medical bills with bankruptcy

Submitted by Jen Jones on Sat, 06/06/2009 - 12:36am

New study definitively links medical bills with bankruptcy

In a previous post, we discussed the connections between medical bills and bankruptcy. It seems we may have been ahead of the news cycle, as several national media outlets are reporting on a study just released by The American Journal of Medicine that reports close to two out of three bankruptcies are caused by medical bills. The study reports that the problem is not isolated to the uninsured- in fact, an astounding 77.9 percent of those surveyed for the study had medical insurance!

But it gets even more interesting.

The study was completed in 2007, meaning that a good deal of the more than 2,000 bankruptcy filers surveyed had yet to experience the full brunt of the current recession. Of all the bankruptcies in 2007, 62.1 percent of them were filed because of medical problems. From 2001 to 2007, the number of bankruptcies attributed to health concerns was around 50 percent.

The average medical bill for a person carrying private insurance was $17,749. For the uninsured, $26,971. Data also revealed that those included had debt of more than $5,000. Talk about pain.

According to the study, the majority of the bills were incurred in the hospital, costs which totaled almost half of average medical expenses. Prescription drugs, doctors' bills and insurance premiums made up the majority of the remaining costs.

Some of the most unsettling information concerned employer cancellation of coverage. Since the majority of health coverage in America is connected to having a job, a quarter of all employers who provide insurance were found to cancel coverage when a worker experiences a debilitating illness. Another quarter cancelled within a year of the illness. This unfortunate statistic is often attributed to the reality that when an injury or long-term illness hits, a person often misses significant time from work.

Real help is likely years away. Thus, should a medical emergency hit and even the savings account isn't enough to cover it, credit cards become the best option. And many of us know where that decision can lead.

Based on this study, it seems that there is indeed a connection between physical and fiscal health. Unfortunately, one surprise can ruin both. If you are struggling with medical debt, contact a bankruptcy attorney today.

The Law Offices of John T. Orcutt have helped thousands of families recover from medical debt. Call today to set up a free initial bankruptcy consultation. During normal business hours, call toll free +1-919-646-2654. Or make an "online" appointment by visiting our website at www.billsbills.com. Convenient office locations in Raleigh, Durham, Wilson, and Fayetteville.

Debts Hurt! Got debt? Need help? Get started below!

Serving All of North Carolina

  • Charlotte
  • Fayetteville
  • Durham
  • Wilson
  • Greensboro
  • South Raleigh (Garner)
  • Southport
  • Wilmington

North Raleigh

6616 Six Forks Rd Suite 203 Raleigh, NC 27615 North Carolina

Tel: (919) 847-9750

North Raleigh

Charlotte

7400 Carmel Executive Park Dr Suite 105 (In association with) Charlotte, NC 28226 North Carolina

Tel: (704) 318-2702

Charlotte

Fayetteville

2711 Breezewood Ave. Fayetteville, NC 28303 North Carolina

Tel: (910) 323-2972

Fayetteville

Durham

1738 Hillandale Road Suite D Durham, NC 27705 North Carolina

Tel: (919) 286-1695

Durham

Wilson

2215 Nash St. NW Wilson, NC 27896 North Carolina

Tel: (252) 234-9194

Wilson

Greensboro

600 Green Valley Road Suite 210 Greensboro, NC 27408 North Carolina

Tel: (336) 542-5993

Greensboro

South Raleigh (Garner)

143 Highway 70 Garner, NC 27529 North Carolina

Tel: (919) 747-4400

South Raleigh (Garner)

Southport

4320 Southport Supply Road SE Suite 300 Southport, NC 28461 North Carolina

Tel: (910) 218-8682

Southport

Wilmington

4320 Southport Supply Road SE Suite 300 Southport, NC 28461 North Carolina

Tel: (910) 447-2987

Wilmington