HCFO Grantee Quoted in New York Times on Medical Debt

Publication Date: 
January 5, 2016

Although the number of uninsured Americans has fallen significantly, those with health insurance are struggling to pay their medical bills. In a piece on medical bankruptcy, Margot Sanger-Katz of the New York Times discusses the financial problems faced by the insured under age 65. She references work from former HCFO grantee David Dranove, Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, that found bankruptcy was largely a problem of the uninsured—a scenario that may be changing given the variation in health plan generosity in today’s market. In his HCFO-funded study, Dranove and colleagues assessed how insurance status affects personal wealth and earnings in the population nearing age 65 that have a heightened probability of adverse health but have not yet qualified for Medicare. This study found that the uninsured, near-elderly who suffer a new, major illness lose between one-third and one-half of their assets to medical expenses.