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Many fear strain of medical bills

COLUMBUS, Ga., Oct. 9 (UPI) -- Thirty-two percent of U.S. adults say they are concerned that they will someday need to declare bankruptcy due to unexpected medical bills, says a survey.

The survey of 2,091 adults also finds that 89 percent of Americans say the rising cost of healthcare is among the most pressing concerns facing the nation, according to the survey commissioned by Aflac, a provider of guaranteed-renewable insurance.

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"There is a direct correlation between the continuous increase of healthcare costs and financial anxiety," said Paul Amos, executive vice president of Aflac.

Increasing costs in healthcare are forcing many Americans to go without care. The number of Americans with major medical insurance has decreased compared to one year ago, dropping from 81 percent in 2005 to 74 percent in 2006.

The perils of being uninsured are apparent, according to Amos. Seventy-four percent of the survey respondents without any type of medical insurance report that they have considered not going to the doctor because of the costs they may incur, while only 37 percent of those with medical insurance reported doing so.

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