Tags: kaiser | seniors | poverty

Kaiser Report: More Seniors Living in Poverty Than Thought

Tuesday, 21 May 2013 12:16 PM

By Melanie Batley

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More of America's seniors are living in poverty than official census estimates indicate, a new study released Monday has found.

According to analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which used an alternative poverty measure, 1 in 7 seniors live in poverty, not 1 in 10, which until now has been the official U.S. Census Bureau projection, Politico reported Tuesday.

The alternative formula used by the foundation, also known as the supplemental poverty measure, takes into account out-of-pocket health spending, taxes, government benefits, and variations in the regional cost of living.

"The supplemental measure suggests that a greater share of seniors may already be struggling financially than is conveyed by the official measure," the foundation says in its study report.

Using state-by-state estimates, the study also shows that for seniors 65 or older, the supplemental measure of poverty is higher in every state than official estimates indicate. And in twelve states the poverty rate is twice as high as the official estimate.

The Kaiser report says the analysis is intended to provide context for the spending proposals affecting seniors, and notes that under some proposals to reform Medicare, poverty levels would continue to climb, Politico reported.




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