Massachusetts Medical Bankruptcies Continue, Despite State Health Reform

The 2006 Massachusetts law requiring near-universal health coverage for its residents has not stopped the problem of medical bankruptcies, according to a Boston Globe report.

According to the report, a survey of Massachusetts residents who filed for bankruptcy in July 2009 found that 53 percent of respondents cited a medical cause. The difference — down 2 percent from 59 percent in 2007 — was not statistically significant, according to the study published in the American Journal of Medicine.

According to the study's lead author, David Himmelstein, MD, Massachusetts health costs continue to rise, and high premiums, large co-pays and high deductibles mean significant out-of-pocket costs for patients who must undergo medical treatment. Dr. Himmelstein suggested the national health reform law will have a similar lack of effect on medical bankruptcies.

Read the Boston Globe report on Massachusetts health reform.

Read more on Massachusetts universal coverage:

-Romney Could Win Nomination Despite Massachusetts Reform Role

-Massachusetts Residents Forced to Use EDs Under State's Universal Mandate

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