1.5 millions US citizens will declare bankruptcy, and a new study suggests that over 60 percent of those individuals will be brought under due to medical bills. Medical bill bankruptcies increased by nearly 50 percent in a six-year period, from 46 percent in 2001 on up to 62 percent in 2007. Most filers hailed from the middle class, and were “well-educated homeowners,” according to a report that will be published in the August issue of the American Journal of Medicine, according to CNN. And, what’s more insane, three-quarters of the people with a medically-related bankruptcy had health insurance.
“Unless you’re a Warren Buffett or Bill Gates, you’re one illness away from financial ruin in this country,” according to lead author Steffie Woolhandler, M.D., from Harvard. “If an illness is long enough and expensive enough, private insurance offers very little protection against medical bankruptcy, and that’s the major finding in our study.”