• 12
  • November

A recent article published by Reuters looks at the issue of rising bankruptcy among Americans older than 65. A study by University of Michigan Law School Professor John Pottow found that from 1991 to 2007 the percentage of people between the ages of 65 to 74 filing for bankruptcy rose 178 percent. The figures have probably risen since the onset of the recession.

A major reason for Americans age 65 and older filing for bankruptcy is the high costs of healthcare, which are rising at a rate faster than inflation. Older Americans can face chronic health conditions, high out-of-pocket expenses, long-term care costs and drug costs. One-third of people who listed medical reasons in their bankruptcy filing report that they used a high-interest credit card to pay for their medical expenses, and the cards ended up adding to their financial burden.

A few pieces of healthcare law aim to help with this growing problem. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will provide free preventative care that could prevent a catastrophic illness. A healthcare reform law will also close the gap in Medicare D prescription drug coverage for beneficiaries with high expenses.


Health costs fuel rise in bankruptcy among elderly (Reuters)