HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Akron Univ. School of Law

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Medical Bills and the Middle Class

Nicolas Kristof of the NYT highlights one woman's story of how cracks in the health care system tore apart her family when her husband was diagnosed with early onset dementia. Because her husband required long-term care, hospital workers suggested the two divorce in order to prevent the family from losing everything.

A study reported in The American Journal of Medicine this month found that 62 percent of American bankruptcies are linked to medical bills. These medical bankruptcies had increased nearly 50 percent in just six years. Astonishingly, 78 percent of these people actually had health insurance, but the gaps and inadequacies left them unprotected when they were hit by devastating bills.

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