AR among the most vulnerable to medical debt and heart disease

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Inauguration of Aflac Aflac Care Index found that Arkansas was among the 11 states most at risk for medical debt and, of those 11, ranked 2nd in the prevalence of heart disease/stroke.

According to a press release, the national survey explored Americans’ exposure to medical debt resulting from uninsured medical bills.

Here are some key insights into the medical debt exposure of Arkansas residents found in the survey:

  • 40% are very concerned about their ability to pay for medical costs not covered by insurance, with 43% more concerned now than five years ago.
  • Nearly half of respondents (46%) can’t go more than a week without a paycheck and continue to pay their bills.
  • 43% don’t have an emergency or bad weather fund.

According to the Aflac Care Index, 24% of respondents nationwide say they have no money in their savings accounts and 48% say they have $1,000 or less. The situation is further aggravated by the fact that 33% of insured Americans cannot go more than a week without pay, while 71% cannot endure a month without pay, leading many (25%) to have to borrow money for medical emergencies, with almost a quarter (22%) saying they would need to find additional employment, while 6% would have to file for bankruptcy.

“The Aflac Care Index reveals that the high cost of health care is a huge problem for the uninsured, but they are not alone, as even among those with health insurance, almost half say they could not afford the costs that are not covered by their insurance,” said Aflac U.S. President Teresa White. “As a company that cares about our neighbors, our employees, and our communities, we want to use this information to help tackle this national challenge head-on No one should have to choose between living expenses and paying medical bills, which, sadly, is the number of Americans who are forced to live today.

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