In recent years, consumer debt and the bankruptcy filing rate have received substantial public and media attention in the United States. That attention pales in comparison with widespread concerns and media reporting about health. Yet, both sets of discussions may be relevant to individuals and families facing a combination of health problems and financial problems. In a recent study, nearly half of the sample of individual bankruptcy filers reported they also were dealing with illness, injury, or substantial medical debt.
Whether somethmg other than coincidence explains this correlation is worthy of consideration for those who study health. For some debtors, debt problems may be health-care finance issues; income interruption or financial obligations stemming from health ailments may contribute to financial downfall?
The opposite relationship, however, not only is possible, but potentially more pervasive.