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Aflac: Consumers Fear Medical Bills

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Many Americans are nervous about health care costs.

Researchers at Aflac Inc., Columbus, Ga., have published an assessment of that fear in a summary of results of a recent survey of 2,091 U.S. residents ages 18 and older.

About 37% of the participants with health coverage and 74% of the participants without coverage said they have considered not going to the doctor because of the costs they might incur, the researchers report.

The researchers also found that 32% of participants are concerned that they will someday need to declare bankruptcy due to unexpected medical bills.

Only 25% of the survey participants born before 1946 and 29% of the youngest participants worry about medical bills leading to bankruptcy, but 33% of the Generation X participants and 37% of the boomer participants fear medical bills will drive them into bankruptcy, the Aflac researchers report.