New Study Says Medical Bankruptcies Are Not as Common as Previously Thought

Posted on : March 29, 2018
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Medical bills have long been touted as the leading reason why people end up filing for bankruptcy. However, a new study indicates that that may be shifting. The analysis recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine says that hospitalizations were only associated with 4% of personal bankruptcies among those people who did not fall into the category of being elderly in the United States.

Previous research from Senator Elizabeth Warren indicated that medical reasons were the most common trigger for bankruptcies, sitting at approximately 60%. However, more than half a million adults younger than age 65 in California who were hospitalized between 2003 and 2007, not related to childbirth, identified that the credit reports indicated that some of those patients were clearly forced into bankruptcy in the years following their stay.

However, that medical bankruptcy may not occur as much as previous research indicates. Medical expenses may be responsible for a smaller portion of bankruptcies than ever before. Researchers believe that hospitalizations were responsible for around 6% of bankruptcies for those patients who had non-insurance. Hospitalization rates, however, were lower in that patient group compared with the general non-elderly population. The analysis included a bigger range of people than earlier research which focused on those who had already received bankruptcy protection. However, the study did have some limitations which may not paint the full picture of medical bankruptcies. Since it only focused on adult patients from one state who were hospitalized, it may not tell the entire story about how medical expenses can alter the financial situation of someone.

You should never have to be on your own if you are thinking about making a change for the better and getting your feet under you financially. That’s where the help of a bankruptcy lawyer comes in.


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