The Relationship Between Medical Care Costs and Personal Bankruptcy

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2006


The number of personal bankruptcy filings has broken records over the last few years. Filings for non-business bankruptcy protection totaled 1,650,279 in 2003, an increase of 9.6 percent between the years 2002 and 2003. This article examines the relationship in the United States between personal bankruptcy filings, and medical care costs and coverage. There seems to be a positive, statistically significant relationship between medical care costs and nonbusiness bankruptcy numbers; however, medical care coverage has limited or no explanatory value as a factor explaining total nonbusiness bankruptcy filings. The regression models suggest a weak or no relationship between the number of nonbusiness bankruptcy filings and health insurance coverage.

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