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Many Have More Medical Debt Than Emergency Savings

By Becky Yerak, Chicago Tribune
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

Sept. 04--A quarter of Americans say they have more medical debt than emergency savings, and the shortfall is particularly acute for lower-income consumers, a new study shows.

Bankrate.com, an online publisher of personal finance content, said that, among those earning less than $30,000 a year, 44 percent said they had more medical debt than emergency savings.

Many others are worried about finding themselves in such a fix.

The majority of Americans were either "very worried" or "somewhat worried" that they might find themselves overwhelmed by medical debt. That compared to 43 percent who said they weren't too worried or not worried at all.

"These results show that more than half the population feels financially insecure when it comes to health care," Bankrate.com insurance analyst Doug Whiteman said in a statement.

The survey also showed that consumers either are uninformed about Obamacare or lack confidence in it, as 55 percent are also worried that they won't have affordable health care in the future.

The survey was conducted on Bankrate.com's behalf by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. It did land line and cell phone interviews in English and Spanish with 1,006 U.S. adults in the continental United States from Aug. 21 to Aug. 24. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

byerak@tribune.com

Follow @beckyyerak -- Follow @chibreakingbiz

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(c)2014 the Chicago Tribune

Visit the Chicago Tribune at www.chicagotribune.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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