Minority Health Archive

Illness And Injury As Contributors To Bankruptcy

Himmelstein, David U and Warren, Elizabeth and Thorne, Deborah and Woolhandler, Steffie (2005) Illness And Injury As Contributors To Bankruptcy. Health Affairs, W5. pp. 63-73.

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Abstract

In 2001, 1.458 million American families filed for bankruptcy. To investigate medical contributors to bankruptcy, we surveyed 1,771 personal bankruptcy filers in five federal courts and subsequently completed in-depth interviews with 931 of them. About half cited medical causes, which indicates that 1.9–2.2 million Americans (filers plus dependents)experienced medical bankruptcy. Among those whose illnesses led to bankruptcy, out-of-pocket costs averaged $11,854 since the start of illness; 75.7 percent had insurance at the onset of illness. Medical debtors were 42 percent more likely than other debtors to experience lapses in coverage. Even middle-class insured families often fall prey to financial catastrophe when sick.


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Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Access to full text is subject to the publisher's access restrictions.
Uncontrolled Keywords: illness, bankruptcy, injury
Subjects: Research
Practice
Health
Practice > service
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Kismet Loftin-Bell
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2006
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2011 12:55
Link to this item (URI): http://health-equity.lib.umd.edu/id/eprint/509

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