Do some consumers really think they will handle medical catastrophes by getting as much care as possible, then filing for bankruptcy?
Neale Mahoney, a health policy researcher in Cambridge, Mass., has come up with evidence to support the idea that some consumers really do think of their ability to declare bankruptcy as a form of health insurance.
Mahoney has published the data in a paper on “Bankruptcy as Implicit Health Insurance,” on the website of the National Bureau of Economic Research. The paper is behind a pay wall.
Mahoney found that households with more wealth to lose were more likely to have health insurance.
Similarly, Mahoney says, uninsured households with more assets that could be seized made bigger payments for medical care than uninsured households with fewer seizable assets.