Income is payment in the form of money given to a person or a business in return for a service or product provided or invested. It may also be money coming from a government benefit, a gift received, or through one’s pension.
Poverty is having an income that fall below a certain set of poverty measures. In the United States, the federal poverty measures have two slightly different versions: poverty thresholds and poverty guidelines. Poverty thresholds are the “original version of the federal poverty measure” according to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE). It is mainly to calculate official poverty population figures. Poverty guidelines, on the other hand, are a simpler version of poverty thresholds and are mainly for administrative purposes such as financial eligibility determination for certain federal programs.
Health insurance is the contract between an insurer and an insured where the former would compensate some or all of the healthcare costs of the latter in exchange for receiving a premium. To be more specific, health insurers shoulder medical, surgical, prescription drug, and at times, dental expenses that were incurred by the insured.
What is the relationship of income, health insurance, and poverty?
According to a study by a non-profit organization in 2017, lower income families even with employer-based coverage spend the larger portion of their income on health costs as compared to those with higher incomes. Likewise, depending on the insured or his family’s health status, there is also a higher tendency for lower income earning families to spend higher out-of-pocket expenses.
Moreover, according to the Institute for Research on Poverty, almost 70% of those belonging to the uninsured population were poor or near-poor based on researches from 2011-2013. Those who are uninsured have the tendency to delay or decline preventative care and only seek medical help when their illness are severe.
This presentation shows data on income, poverty, and health insurance in the United States based on data from the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplements (CPS ASEC) conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau