- November 25th 2011
Nearly two-thirds of bankruptcies in early 2007 were due in part to medical debt -- an increase of more than 20% since 2001 -- according to a national study of more than 2,000 cases.
Of those who filed for bankruptcy due in part to medical debt, 92% had debt of more than $5,000 or 10% of their income, according to "Medical Bankruptcy in the United States, 2007: Results of a National Study," published in the May 18 issue of the American Journal of Medicine. The study is based on questionnaires returned by 2,314 debtors, plus court records and phone interviews.
The study is a follow-up to a similar 2001 analysis based on bankruptcy filings in five states. The earlier study found that medical problems contributed to at least 46.2% of bankruptcies in those states. The newer study -- which required larger debts to label a bankruptcy as medically related -- found that the bankruptcies of 62.1% of people who filed between Jan. 25 and April 11, 2007, were at least partly related to medic [Read more]