6 On Your Side Answers: More and more Americans have more medical debt than savings

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – If you are worried about health insurance and whether you have enough money in savings in case of an emergency, you are like a lot of people.

Diana in Newport asks: “Am I the only one worried about avoiding a hospital if I got hurt?”

According to a new survey, 25 percent of Americans today say they currently have more medical debt than emergency savings.

The new Bankrate Health Insurance Pulse Survey found that 44 percent of people who earn less than $30,000 had more medical debt than savings.

On the other end of the payroll scale, 80 percent of people earning $75,000 a year or more have more emergency savings than medical debt.

Those who have more debt than savings are called the “financially fragile” by health care experts.

They are the 40 percent of Americans who say they could not come up with $2,000 to pay for a major medical bill if an emergency came up in the next month.

What may be surprising among those surveyed is that 55 percent said they were either “very worried” or “somewhat worried” that they might find themselves overwhelmed by medical debt.

Forty-three percent responded to the survey by saying they were either “not too worried” or “not worried at all” about medical debt.

The report found that worry levels were the highest among people in their prime earning years, between the ages of 30 to 64.

You can see Don Dare’s 6 On Your Side Answers every Tuesday and Thursday on 6 News at 4:00.

If you have a question you can send Don an email at ddare@wate.com or call his 6 On Your Side hotline at (865) 633-5974.

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