Study: Medical Bills Cause Most Bankruptcies

A study published online by the American Journal of Medicine maintains most bankruptcies are spawned by medical bills, and even people with insurance may face financial crisis if ill or injured.

The study, conducted before the current economic recession, indicates that in 2007 medical problems contributed to 62 percent of bankruptcies. Between 2001 and 2007, the Harvard Medical School and Ohio University study says, the proportion of all bankruptcies attributable to medical problems rose by 50 percent.

The health problems that left patients with the highest out-of-pocket expenses are ranked as follows:

Neurologic (i.e., multiple sclerosis): $34,167
Diabetes: $26,971
Injuries: $25,096
Stroke: $23,380
Mental illnesses: $23,178
Heart disease: $21,955

Medical Bankruptcy in the United States, 2007: Results of a National Study” is available online.


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