Illness and Injury as Contributors to Bankruptcy

  title={Illness and Injury as Contributors to Bankruptcy},
  author={David Himmelstein and Elizabeth Warren and Deborah Thorne and Steffie Woolhandler},
  journal={Health Affairs},
In 2001, 1.458 million American families filed for bankruptcy. To investigate medical contributors to bankruptcy, we surveyed 1,771 personal bankruptcy filers in five federal courts and subsequently completed in-depth interviews with 931 of them. About half cited medical causes, which indicates that 1.9–2.2 million Americans (filers plus dependents)experienced medical bankruptcy. Among those whose illnesses led to bankruptcy, out-of-pocket costs averaged $11,854 since the start of illness; 75.7… 
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