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Medical Bills: A Major Cause of Bankruptcy

A according to a study published May 2000 in Norton's Bankruptcy Adviser, 500,000 people filed bankruptcy in 1999 because they could not pay medical expenses.. Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren, who conducted the study, said the problem stems from the U.S. health care system.

In 1999 half of the people who filed bankruptcy could not pay all their medical expenses.

While loss of work remains the number one cause of bankruptcy, “when people lose their jobs, they also lose their health insurance. The combination often creates a blow that families cannot recover from without bankruptcy.”
The groups most often affected by medical debt include seniors, women, and families, according to the study.
People hardest hit by medical debt often have some insurance, but not enough to cover all the costs of treatment.

In 2009, this problem has increased dramatically.

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