I just got this from a yahoo group.. It's an important issue as Congress took away our right to bankrupt against medical bills... ---------- from Kate McMahon Co-producer FRONTLINE 503-757-3033 I am hoping to meet a patient who, sadly, was forced to file bankruptcy solely because of medical bills. Ideally, I'd like to talk with someone who was insured when an accident or illness occurred, but found out that they were under-insured, meaning that high deductibles and co-pays resulted in monumental costs that thrust them into financial distress. Their story could help illuminate part of America's health care system, which is that most under-insured Americans are one injury or illness away from financial distress, possibly bankruptcy. If you could help with my search, that would be great. Below is the synopsis of the film. All the best, Kate McMahon Co-producer FRONTLINE 503-757-3033 Public Broadcasting's FRONTLINE, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/ - - FRONTLINE: SICK AROUND AMERICA Unlike the integrated systems in most advanced democracies (examined in FRONTLINE: Sick Around the World), America's health care is a patchwork. Two large federal programs cover the elderly and the very poor, another covers veterans, yet another American Indians. And for the rest of us, there's private insurance. This program is about the 225 million Americans under 65, not covered by Medicaid, who seek access to health care via the private insurance market. At a time of intense interest in health care reform, Washington Post correspondent T. R. Reid travels across America investigating how this system works: from large employer sponsored insurance to the small group market to the individual market. While America is home to perhaps the most advanced medicine in the world, not everyone has access to it. As is often reported in the media, some 47 million people have no insurance and tens of millions are underinsured. According to researchers at the Institute of Medicine and Harvard University, this leads to some 18,000 avoidable deaths and hundreds of thousands of personal bankruptcies each year. But what has received much less coverage is the fact that even people with insurance are vulnerable. Over a 3-year period, one in four Americans finds themselves out in the cold looking for affordable insurance. Why? Adults lose jobs, get divorced, move, suffer serious illness etc; dependent children age, becoming ineligible for their parent's plan. Suddenly, America is a scarier place. If you seek insurance alone in the individual market the insurance company now has the right to assess your health - a practice called medical underwriting - and if you are sick, charge you more or deny you coverage. A series of critical choices now have to be made - and those choices depend not only on an individual's wealth but also an arcane mix of federal and state laws. How best to reform a system where many Americans find themselves uninsured, underinsured, or uninsurable, where costs are rising four times faster than wages, and where different stakeholders hold very different perspectives? This program will lay the groundwork for an informed conversation about fixing our sick health care system.