Chronic health conditions can have many impacts on families. This includes financial impacts. Such conditions can subject families to major out-of-pocket costs. These expenses can have a lot of time to build up with chronic conditions. Such costs could expose families to financial struggles, particularly low-income families.
This is underscored in a recent study regarding a chronic condition. This condition is coronary artery disease. It is estimated that around 10 percent of U.S. adults have this disease. It can lead to a variety of health problems, including heart attacks and strokes.
The study looked at the financial impact of medical expenses on low-income U.S. families affected by this disease. The study indicates that such families can face a lot of out-of-pocket expenses. This includes things like insurance premiums and medication costs.
According to the study, low-income families affected by coronary artery disease were particularly likely, compared to families in other income groups, to be exposed to high or catastrophic financial burdens related to medical costs. The study estimated that almost 2 million such families face such burdens. In the study, medical expenses were considered to pose a high or catastrophic burden when they were above a certain portion of a family's income. The thresholds were 20 percent for high and 40 percent for catastrophic.
As a note, many of the low-income families the study looked at had insurance.
As this shows, even when they have insurance, families can find themselves facing difficult financial situations in regard to costs connected to chronic conditions.
In some instances, families struggling with costs related to chronic medical conditions may find bankruptcy a good source of relief. Bankruptcy can sometimes help with eliminating medical debt. Bankruptcy lawyers can advise families facing large medical bills on how viable of an option bankruptcy would be for them.