Why do so many cancer patients end up struggling with debt?

On Behalf of | Oct 6, 2022 | Bankruptcy

There are many forms of cancer, and each one will require specialized medical treatment. Chemotherapy, radiation and surgery are among the common treatments used to help people defeat cancer.

The success rates for such treatments have improved significantly in recent decades, meaning that many more people survive a cancer diagnosis and live healthy lives long after achieving remission. Unfortunately, those who beat cancer frequently find themselves facing financial hardship. According to recent research, many as one in four people who go into remission also have to file for bankruptcy.

Why is debt such a serious problem for cancer survivors?

Insurance coverage has large gaps

One of the biggest concerns for those battling cancer is the overall cost of their treatment. They may have to pay a copay at every chemotherapy and radiation session. Cancer patients may also need to pay thousands of dollars to meet a deductible before the insurance policy pays for their treatment.

If someone diagnosed with cancer has an insurance policy that assesses coinsurance, they may have to pay 10%, 20% or even more of their total care costs. Those with cancer could have hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills in a single year, which might mean that they have tens of thousands of dollars in coinsurance obligations.

Not all treatments have proper coverage

Some of the most exciting and promising treatments on the current market are immunotherapies. Instead of actively fighting the cancer with a medicine, doctors can teach the body to fight the cancer internally.

Unfortunately, the newest treatments often don’t qualify for insurance coverage yet, meaning that patients have to find a way to pay for their care with their own funds and may have hundreds of dollars in debt after the end of their treatment. If you are one of the thousands of cancer survivors who now have to handle insurmountable levels of medical debt, filing for bankruptcy may be a viable solution.

A successful bankruptcy that discharges your unsecured debts could eliminate your medical debt and prevent hospitals and other care providers from taking aggressive actions, like pursuing a lien against your home. Connecting your financial woes with your medical issues may help you realize that bankruptcy is the right solution for your medical debts.