Study reveals how cancer patients feel about personal bankruptcy

While some financial challenges are avoidable with budgeting and planning, others are a bit more difficult to prevent. Medical debt is a major concern for many people in Connecticut and across the United States. A new study has revealed interesting information on the relationship between cancer treatments and personal bankruptcy.

The study, conducted in part by Duke University Medical Center, surveyed patients to understand the extent of financial strain they would take on to access treatments. According to their results, almost 50 percent of patients would declare bankruptcy if it meant access to treatment. Over one third said they would sell their home, while at least 65 percent would cut down on personal costs like living expenses and vacations to pay for treatment.

Survey respondents were all insured adults who were receiving chemotherapy or hormone therapy for tumors. After insurance, costs to these patients for cancer treatments averaged $393. The highest monthly out-of-pocket expense identified at the beginning for the study was $26,586. This decreased to an average of $328 with a maximum of $8,210 at the follow-up, which took place three months after the initial survey.

Speaking about costs can often be the last thing someone wants to do after receiving a cancer diagnosis. However, those who avoid the topic altogether can miss critical information and end up in more medical debt than they may have otherwise. Those who are considering personal bankruptcy, either due to medical debt or other amounts owing, should speak to a Connecticut lawyer to understand their options under the law.