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Elderly Now Going Bankrupt Due to Health Insurance Costs

Critics of the health insurance industry in the United States have been raising the alarm over the status of the elderly in that nation who are finding it harder and harder to cover their basic health care costs. Gone, say consumer advocates, are the days when senior citizens could expect to retire and live out their golden years debt free enjoying the things they always wanted to do but never had time for during their working years. Instead, a rising number of those in America of the age of 65 and older are now declaring something truly shocking to most of their fellow citizens: bankruptcy. It turns out that a recent study from University of Michigan Law School's professor of law, John Pottow, shows that 7% of US bankruptcy filings in 2007 alone were filed by people 65 of older. This is a huge jump from those same numbers in 1991 and it means, says Pottow, that this is the fastest growing segment of the population seeking to declare bankruptcy.

The key part of the problem, say those who conducted the study, is credit cards. Since most of those who are filing are eligible for Social Security income or have a small pension, they do not have the resources to live very far above the poverty line even if they have very good credit. This means that they have access to credit, but if they are trying to control their costs and encounter a medical issue they generally do not have enough insurance to cover those costs of health care. As a result, they are unable to escape the unexpected cost.

06.11.2010. 11:14


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