Individuals diagnosed with cancer now have a much better prognosis than they did a few decades ago. Even children with cancer are more likely than not to survive in most cases. Of course, getting to remission isn’t an easy process.
Typically, those with cancer require months of intensive and debilitating treatments. Often, people with cancer cannot work during their treatment and may need a few months to recover even after achieving remission.
Chemotherapy and radiation treatments, for example, can make people even sicker than they were at the time of their initial diagnosis. Recovering from cancer often involves trying to regain control over your financial circumstances. Unfortunately for cancer survivors, their diagnosis drastically increases their chances of a personal bankruptcy.
The cost of treatment is one of the reasons that so many people with cancer eventually file for bankrupcy. Surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation treatments can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Depending on your insurance coverage you have large co-pays at every session, a deductible that is thousands of dollars and also coinsurance that requires that you pay a flat percentage of your total care costs.
If you need cutting-edge treatments like immunotherapies, stem cell transplants or bone marrow transplants, you could be looking at medical treatments that cost more than $500,000. The costs are one of the reasons why individuals with cancer are2.5 times more likely than other people to file for bankruptcy.
When you combine those extreme expenses with the total loss of income that typically accompanies chemotherapy treatment and other aggressive cancer care, it is easy to see why someone won’t have the money they need to pay out of pocket for those costs.
Dealing with aggressive collection efforts and worrying about the hospital putting a lien on your house could negatively affect your health. Stress can even affect your immune system, in addition to elevating your blood pressure and affecting your sleep.
Those who file for bankruptcy after completing cancer treatments can potentially discharge their medical debt. A discharge of your medical debt will allow you to move on with your life and make the most of your future now that you have beaten cancer.
Recognizing that the connection between cancer and overwhelming debt is not your fault may take some of the guilt out of the decision to file for personal bankruptcy.