High healthcare expenses are a problem for even the healthiest individuals, but when you introduce a serious medical crisis like cancer, the price tag can skyrocket, financially crippling people around the world. From small payments that add up over time like co-pays to big-ticket bills for procedures such as surgery or ongoing prescription-drug treatments, cancer and bankruptcy are unfortunately becoming synonymous.
What is the Average Debt from Cancer?
The average debt from cancer is staggering. According to new research published in The American Journal of Medicine, more than 42% of patients spent their entire life savings within the first two years of treatment, an average of $92,098 per person. An overwhelming 62% of patients report some level of debt following treatment, with 55% accruing at least $10,000 in debt. In one study, more than half of patients reported extreme financial complications from cancer treatment, including house repossession and relationship breakdowns, as financial stressors complicate all facets of one’s life.
Cancer’s Financial Burden
Cancer and bankruptcy are all too common. According to a study published in the Chicago Tribune, cancer patients are more than twice as likely as healthy Americans to declare bankruptcy. In that same research, 16% of patients reported “overwhelming financial distress,” while nearly 40% said they weren’t prepared for the financial burdens their cancer diagnosis brought.
A number of factors may be fueling the growing average debt from cancer, such as tightening restrictions on what prescription drugs insurance carriers will cover, rising deductibles and increasingly narrow networks of doctors and hospitals, which prompt some patients to seek better treatment — albeit much more costly — elsewhere.
Life Insurance Loans for Cancer Patients
Financial resources for cancer patients can help avoid the cancer and bankruptcy trap. Life Credit’s Living Benefits Loan Program provides emergency funds that allow patients to borrow against the death benefit of their life insurance policy to meet pressing financial needs. By satisfying these financial obligations upfront, patients are better prepared to reduce their average debt from cancer — enabling them to remain financially healthy and instead focus on restoring their physical health. Learn more about the simple loan process for a Living Benefit Loan.