HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Medical Debt: A Curable A...

Mon Jun 3, 2013, 11:52 PM

Medical Debt: A Curable Affliction Health Reform Won’t Fix

"Millions of Americans are deep in medical debt. Unfortunately, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will throw a lifeline to very few. According to the Congressional Budget Office, even after health reform is fully implemented in 2014, 30 million to 36 million people will remain uninsured. And tens of millions who do have insurance will have coverage that is too limited to ensure financial protection against an expensive illness. Many families will remain just one serious illness away from bankruptcy.

Medical Bankruptcies

In 2001, we began studying medical bankruptcy along with our colleagues Elizabeth Warren and Deborah Thorne. We directly surveyed debtors soon after they’d filed for personal bankruptcy. Back then, illness and medical bills contributed to about 50 percent of all personal bankruptcies and involved about 2.2 million debtors and their dependents.

By 2007, when we repeated our study nationwide, medical bankruptcies had risen to 62 percent. Significantly, most medical debtors were middle class. They had owned homes, had attended college, and had held responsible jobs. Seventy-eight percent even had health insurance, mostly private coverage — at least when they first got sick.

Why are so many middle-class, privately insured Americans swamped by medical costs? The reason is that private coverage has holes — unaffordable deductibles and copayments, as well as brief or nonexistent coverage of medical services like physical therapy. Moreover, since illness often reduces work-related income, families may experience a double whammy, as medical bills arrive just when the paychecks stop..."


4 replies, 718 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 4 replies Author Time Post
Reply Medical Debt: A Curable Affliction Health Reform Won’t Fix (Original post)
slipslidingaway Jun 2013 OP
slipslidingaway Jun 2013 #1
blue neen Jun 2013 #2
slipslidingaway Jun 2013 #3
Name removed Jun 2013 #4

Response to slipslidingaway (Original post)

Wed Jun 5, 2013, 10:56 PM

2. It's very common these days to have deductibles of $1500 per year,

and out of pocket expenses of $5000 to $10,000. This is considered "good" insurance!

If someone has a chronic illness, this creates a black hole that can't be escaped. Hospitals may offer financial assistance, but many middle class families make "too much money" to qualify.

It's unfair and ridiculous when these hospitals are making record profits AND considered tax-exempt (thereby not paying property taxes).

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to blue neen (Reply #2)

Tue Jun 11, 2013, 11:19 PM

3. A bit late :) but thanks for the reply and kick ...

and you are correct about the black hole and financial hardship people may find themselves under even with insurance.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Response to slipslidingaway (Original post)

Reply to this thread