Study links cancer diagnosis with need for bankruptcy relief

On behalf of Bankruptcy Law Firm of Clare Casas on Tuesday, June 4, 2013.

Anyone in Florida who has battled cancer or watched a love one undergo a bout with the disease can attest to the stress and emotional turmoil that often accompanies the process. They can also tell you that the financial ramifications that follow a cancer diagnosis bring on new hardships, and can last long after the disease is in remission. One recent study found a disturbing link between a cancer diagnosis and the need to seek bankruptcy relief.

The study, which was recently published in the medical journal 'Health Affairs,' looked at data from close to 400,000 adults, half of whom had received a cancer diagnosis and half who had not. Researchers found that people who were diagnosed with the disease were 2.5 times more likely to file for personal bankruptcy than the rest of the population. Even patients who had health insurance at the time of their diagnosis and treatment still suffered financial hardship that eventually led to the need to file for bankruptcy protection.

A study conducted in 2006 found that over 60 percent of those who filed for bankruptcy cited high medical bills as the primary factor that led them to file. Among those included in that data, as many as three quarters had health insurance. Cancer treatment can be extremely expensive, and multiple co-payments and deductibles led many into financial turmoil.

For Florida patients who are facing a cancer diagnosis, as well as their families, it is important to understand that bankruptcy relief is available, should the disease and the cost of treatment lead to severe financial strain. One's first consideration should be their health, and the focus must be on securing the best possible treatment options. Once the disease has been treated, there are tools available to handle high levels of medical debt.

Source: Care2.com, "Americans with Cancer are Twice as Likely to go Bankrupt, Even If They Have Health Insurance," May 18, 2013

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