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Illnesses more likely to lead to bankruptcies

Not everyone is as affluent as the celebrities or famous personalities they see on television. Many Arizona residents work hard to make ends meet, and though they face financial difficulties, they manage to keep their heads above water. They often achieve this through financial planning, budgeting and taking care not to spend extra money. In addition to this, they try to save some of their money for rainy days, but as mentioned before on this Mesa Bankruptcy Law Blog, it is not possible to budget for every single expense, especially if it is unexpected.

One of the biggest unexpected expenses that could contribute to financial problems is a medical illness. Many Arizona residents probably suspected that an illness could potentially cause people to file for bankruptcy, as high medical bills are difficult to pay. A study published in the Health Affairs Journal has gone on to prove this. A number of researchers conducted the study, examining cancer patients in another state, but the results may well be just as easily applied to Arizona.

According to the results of this study, cancer patients were over two-and-a-half times more likely to go bankrupt than people without cancer. Younger patients had a two to five times higher rate of declaring bankruptcy than those 65 years or older. This may be because federally funded health programs decrease the financial burden of older people. However, the study demonstrates the correlation between illnesses and bankruptcy.

When someone is going through a difficult illness, his or her main concern should be to get better as soon as possible, but concerns over high medical bills may deter people from getting the medical treatment they need. Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be one way people can ease their financial burdens so that they get a fresh start, not just financially, but also health-wise.

Source: Health Affairs, "Washington State cancer patients found to be at greater risk for bankruptcy than people without a cancer diagnosis," Accessed Sept. 14, 2015