Why is there such a strong link between cancer and bankruptcy?

On Behalf of | May 5, 2022 | Bankruptcy

Cancer is probably the last thing you wanted your doctor to say when you went in for a diagnosis. Maybe you thought you just had a cold or a rash, but testing revealed that the actual cause was lung cancer or lymphoma. Instead of a round of antibiotics or a skin cream, your treatment may involve radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery and immunotherapy.

None of those treatment options are cheap. Cutting-edge treatments like bone marrow transplants come with six-figure price tags. Those massive medical costs are why many people who have cancer eventually file for bankruptcy.

Insurance won’t fully cover everyone’s cancer care

No matter how good of an insurance policy you have, the coverage available to you may not be nearly enough for your cancer care. Some insurance policies have huge deductibles that you have to meet before they will pay anything. Other policies have coinsurance, leaving you with a bill that is a flat percentage of the total treatment costs.

Even more concerning is how many insurance policies do not approve the best and most cutting-edge cancer treatments at all. Especially in the early years of medical research into new treatments, insurance companies can potentially decline to cover that care. While you may get your life back when you undergo cancer treatment, you may also take on tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.

Once a doctor diagnoses you with cancer, you are 2.65 times as likely as someone without cancer to file for personal bankruptcy.

Don’t let stress compromise your recovery

Dealing with harassing calls from collection agencies because the hospital sold your debt or facing a lawsuit that would place a lien against your house can do a lot of damage to your health. The stress that you experience can make your daily life miserable and compromise your overall well-being. Stress can affect your immune system, your circulatory system and your nervous system.

Filing for bankruptcy will help you by stopping collection efforts. If your filing is successful, you will also receive the discharge of the remaining balance on your debts. That discharge will mean you will face no future collection activity and do not legally have to repay those amounts anymore.

Understanding the benefits of personal bankruptcy when you face overwhelming debt after fighting cancer can help you make the most of your second chance at life now that you are in remission.