Medical Bills Contribute to Growing Number of U.S. Bankruptcies

An estimated 1.5 million Americans will declare bankruptcy in 2009.  The main reason behind these bankruptcies is not lost jobs or loads of credit card debt.  The primary cause is medical bills and illness.

Medical Bills

Medical Bankruptcy

In 2007, illness or medical bills contributed to 62% of all bankruptcies, according to a study published in the August 2009 edition of The American Journal of Medicine.  That number is up nearly 50% from 2001.

The majority of the medically bankrupt had medical debts over $5,000.  Some reported mortgaging their home to pay medical bills and a large number suffered a significant loss of income due to illness.

Most medical debtors were middle class, well educated and owned homes.  In fact, three quarters had health insurance.  Those with continuous coverage found themselves under-insured, requiring them to pay thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket costs. Many with private coverage lost it when they became too sick to work.

The study also provided evidence that the financial burden of illness is continuing to increase.  The number of under-insured Americans in 2003 was 15.6 million.  By 2007, that number grew to 25.2 million.  In 2003, collection agencies contacted 37.2 million Americans about medical bills.  The number of nonelderly adults with medical debts or having problems paying medical bills rose from 34% in 2005 to 41% in 2007.

Angel MedFlight, a worldwide provider of air ambulance services, helps its clients to avoid the expense and stress of medical debt.  Angel MedFlight employs four lawyers and other legal staff to assist its clients navigate complex legal issues and to prosecute their claims against health insurance companies.

“Medical flights are very expensive,” said Michael Ward, one of the staff attorneys at Angel MedFlight. “There is no other air ambulance company that helps its customers like we do to recover those expenses.  We have a remarkable success rate and by letting us worry about getting the bills paid, our customers can focus on taking care of their loved ones”

To learn more about Angel MedFlight and the services it provides, visit http//

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