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Cancer Patients at Greater Risk of Bankruptcy


A new study finds that cancer patients are 2.5 more likely to file bankruptcy.

A study released yesterday by the Hutchinson Institute for Cancer in Seattle states that cancer patients are 2.65 times more likely than other individuals to file for bankruptcy.  The study tracked 197,840 cancer patients in the state of Washington along with a group of equal size of adults without cancer.  Using court records, they tracked the number of people in their study who filed for bankruptcy.  The researchers discovered that 4,408 of the cancer patients they tracked between 1995 and 2009 had filed for bankruptcy, while 2,291 of those without cancer filed for bankruptcy.

Younger adults were up to 10 times more likely to file than older patients, according to the study, because people with fewer assets, lower income, and less insurance coverage were more succeptable to financial difficulties.

The study took place from 1995 to 2009, which was prior to the 2010 Affordable Care Act.  It remains to be seen if increased rates of health insurance will impact the rate of bankruptcies among cancer patients in the years to come.
Sources: US News and NBC News

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