Towering Medical Bills Leave Many Americans Bankrupt

A recent Harvard study shows a dramatic increase in personal bankruptcy filings related to medical expenses.

In 2007, 62 percent of all personal bankruptcies were linked to medical bills. That's nearly 20 percent more than reported in 2001. And in most cases, those who sought bankruptcy protection had middle-class earnings; nearly 80 percent were covered by health insurance.

Deborah Thorne, co-author of the study, explains why medical expenses are causing more Americans to experience financial distress and discusses how the rising bankruptcy numbers could influence national debate over health care reform.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.