Monday, April 13, 2015

April 13, 2015 — Bankruptcy Fears

Here’s a factoid I ran across today, in an article in Cure magazine. Over one-third of cancer patients, in a recent study, identified bankruptcy as one of the worst fears they’re facing as a result of their treatment.

Think about that: one-third! (Actually, it was a little worse than that: 37.1 percent). That’s an awful lot of worried, seriously-ill people, who are obsessing over something not directly connected to their disease.

Now, here’s the real kicker. From the article:

“Most of the [480] patients were covered by an employer-based plan or some form of Medicare; 18 participants had purchased their coverage through a health insurance marketplace; and five patients reported not having insurance of any kind and being unable to afford a plan.”

Most of the people who such worries about going bankrupt have insurance! So much for insurance providing peace of mind. What does that say about the quality of the insurance safety net so many are depending on?

Even worse than worrying about inadequate insurance is the worry about having no insurance at all. A great many survey respondents spoke of certain trade-offs they’ve had to make, to keep their medical funding in place, “such as choosing doctors based on co-pays, cutting back on food, activities — including education — to save money, and becoming isolated from family members. 'Even if I starve to death, I will not let go of my insurance. That is my life,' said one woman.”

It’s a sad commentary when a seriously-ill person is reduced to describing her insurance policy as her life.  For far too many in our country, medical insurance is indeed a life-or-death matter.

Time for national single-payer health insurance — such as nearly every other industrialized nation already has — wouldn’t you say?


Tracy Frazier said...

Bankruptcy is really a major concern. A lot of the capacity to go through the treatments are rooted to having the right amount of money with which to do that. This is why financial planning is literally a matter of survival for some. That being said, thank you for sharing your thoughts on the matter.

Tracy Frazier @ Sunnen Law Bankruptcy Firm

Robert said...

I look at this a little differently having been in that situation. With cancer, you are talking about a life and death situation. With bankruptcy, in the end it really is just something that in time you will look back on and just realize it was nothing to get so worked up over. If it can ease your pain, just do it.