Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Health Insurance Doesn’t Always Protect People From Medical Debt

From a 1 July 2011 Medical News Today item

In 2010, about 40 percent of Americans-or 73 million people-had trouble paying medical bills, up from 34 percent in 2005. Now, a new study confirms that having health insurance coverage is no guarantee against accumulating medical debt for working-age adults. Not surprisingly, the study likewise finds that both medical debt and lack of insurance coverage lead to reduced access to health care.

“We think of insurance as protecting us from unexpected large financial impact. We have car insurance, house insurance and other kinds of insurance for that reason,” said Patricia Herman, lead study author and an economist at the University of Arizona. “There is an expectation that if you have health insurance that you are protected from being financially devastated by illness or injury. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.”

The study, which appears online and in the August issue of the American Journal of Public Health, used data from the 2008 Arizona Health Survey of 4,200 state households.

A link to the abstract of the research article may be found here.
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July 6, 2011 - Posted by | health care, Medical and Health Research News |

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