The healthcare crisis facing this nation is one that has been mounting over the last several decades. As the costs of healthcare rise and the ability for consumers to stay insured becomes pressured, many people are left in financial hardship over the costs of medical treatment. As one of the largest sources of debt among Americans filing for bankruptcy today, medical debt is a serious problem among the sick and suffering.
A recent study shows that patients diagnosed with cancer are almost three times as likely to end up in bankruptcy over their medical bills. Further, younger patients are closer to five times as likely to end up in bankruptcy over the costs of medical treatment. Additional findings suggest that the likelihood of filing among cancer patients rose, the longer the need for treatment. Surprisingly, breast, skin and prostate cancer patients were less likely to end up insolvent than those with thyroid or lung cancer.
Although the overall risk of the need for bankruptcy remains relatively low among cancer patients in general, the results showed the biggest significant difference among filers in the sample was the cancer diagnosis; and not other forms of debt or prior financial standing. While there is still much to be researched about the rates of bankruptcy among the cancer population, these early findings do point towards the need for change in the healthcare industry.