Why it takes $400,000 to pay your medical expenses and $100,000 in food stamps
The average family in the U.S. makes about $44,000 per year, but that number has ballooned in recent years as the economy has become more fragile.
A person making $50,000 annually needs about $4,200 a month to cover their basic needs.
So how much does a family need to make in order to afford to cover medical costs, food, rent, gas, and child care?
According to a new report from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, that figure jumps to about $1,400 a month for an individual.
The report found that for families earning less than $25,000, a single person earning $100 a month will need about $2,000 a month just to cover expenses.
But for families making more than $50 and making more times their household income, the figure jumps into the stratosphere.
The average annual cost for a family of four in the 50 states is $1.25 million, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
The cost for an adult with a child making the same income is $7,500, according the group.
“I would say, if you’re making $100 and you’re getting food stamps, you’re pretty well off,” said Lisa St. Clair, president and CEO of the nonprofit organization HousingWorks, a nonprofit group that advocates for housing and homelessness.
“We’re talking about a person who’s on $50 a month.”
St. Louis, Missouri, resident Stephanie Sargent said she and her husband made the choice to move from their rental home after being told by a social worker they couldn’t afford to stay.
She said the couple got food stamps to cover costs, but not enough for the bills.
“It just didn’t make sense for us to live here,” she said.
St. Claire said she’s still struggling to make ends meet and has struggled to keep up with medical bills and the cost of childcare, even though she has a disability.
“My husband has cancer, so we can’t take care of him,” she told The Washington Times.
“If I had any hope that we could find another place, I would have gone and lived somewhere.”
She said she didn’t know if her children would be able to attend the preschool program they are attending now.
“They’re so young, they’re not even 5 yet,” she added.
St Clair and her partner are looking to move out and are considering other places for their family.
They’ve been able to save enough money for rent, and they are hoping to find a new place.
“For me, I’m hoping that I can just move on to the next one, which means I can get out of here,” St. Clare said.
In a country where more than half of people live below the poverty line, housing is one of the key barriers to health and employment opportunities.
A recent report by the Center for American Progress found that nearly two-thirds of people living in households earning less that $50 per month are unable to afford the basics.
“People are desperate,” said Rachel Reardon, a senior fellow at CAP who has spent years researching and documenting homelessness.
Housing is one major source of stress for families, and it can have a devastating impact on a person’s ability to manage the health care system and maintain their own lives, Reardon said.
“When we talk about homelessness, it’s not just the homeless that we’re talking to, it includes families who are living in the same place,” she explained.
“There’s no such thing as housing as a family.
It’s not the same as a house.”
The report noted that the percentage of households earning below $50 fell from a peak of nearly 30 percent in 2010, to about 17 percent in 2016.
The percentage of families making between $25 and $50 did not decrease from 2010, but the percentage fell from 15.9 percent in 2012 to 12.7 percent in 2017.
Reardon and others have identified the issue of homelessness as a major barrier to health care access, with more than 22 million Americans experiencing homelessness.
The lack of access to affordable housing, coupled with other factors, can lead to an even greater burden on families, according Reardon.
“The fact that there are so many families living in this housing bubble, and many people who can’t afford a place to live, that they can’t go to a doctor, that there’s a stigma around health care, and that they’re in this situation, it really is a recipe for homelessness,” she noted.
“You have a lot of people who are desperate and living in these squalor.”
In some states, such as Mississippi, the state with the highest number of homeless people, people are still struggling with medical care and the consequences of homelessness.
As of last month, more than 16,000 people were living in shelters, according a report by