State of Reform: Bridging the Gap between Health Care and Health Policy
by SEIU Local 49 , December 9, 2015
Mirroring national trends, study finds that 72 percent of personal bankruptcy filers owe money for a medical-related debt, even after the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of healthcare coverage.
Act Now for a Healthy Oregon today released an issue brief analyzing 2014 personal bankruptcy filings in Lane County, Oregon. The report found that 72% of bankruptcy filers owed money for medical-related debt, with a majority of the medical debt owed to an Oregon hospital system. The total medical debt in personal bankruptcy filings added up to $5.6 million for 2014.
“Even with expanded healthcare coverage through the Affordable Care Act, we still often hear from people in Oregon and Washington that rising hospital costs are pushing already struggling families over the edge, but until now we have lacked clear data about local impacts,” said Meg Niemi, President of SEIU Local 49. “This study confirms that there is a real and troubling connection between the high cost of medical care and personal bankruptcy in our local communities.”