Thursday, February 03, 2005

Medical bills and bankruptcy

Rebecca Blood stuck a nerve today with this.

A post by Health Affairs, the Policy Journal for the Health Sphere revealed that half of all bankruptcies are caused by medical bills and three quarters of those people were insured at the outset of the illness. Sadly, the average deliquency was less than $12,000.

I suspect that people don't embark upon IVF without having the money documented for it somehow. Pay to play. So I'm guessing that IVFers would not be included in these medically-caused bankruptcy numbers, b/c most of it is this fee for service system, right?

What about lapses in insurance coverage, large co-pays, and unexpected expenses? I remember rumblings of insurance complaints in a couple blogs, but not a lot - probably mostly b/c the insurance policies I'm thinking of cover up to $20,000, then finit; or cover 3 attempts, then finit. I guess that it can be pretty well defined and you enter it knowing what the rules are?

IVF or otherwise, it's sad to lose everything b/c of illness.

No wonder I couldn't get it up to call the doctor today. My lungs felt better and I'm of the school of being afraid of what they'll find given the chance to poke around.


Julianna said...

Feel better soon, or feel perfect soon.

Thinking of you.

Jody said...

I know several families who didn't borrow to do IVF, but borrowed to do other thing while doing IVF (home equity/refinancing seems to have been the killer fly in the ointment) and then one MORE medical expense--when they'd already shuffled all the cups to cover the IVF--sent them spiraling over the edge.

And I also know people who borrowed money against their homes to fund the IVF, and then got hit with something else, and couldn't keep up with the second mortgage. My guess is that there's a lot of IVF-inspired "refi" going on out there.