Millions of older adults struggle to make ends meet. They’re often faced with nearly impossible choices — food or medication; rent or a doctor visit. Some 9.2% of older adults were considered poor in 2017, according to the official poverty rate.
That’s an income of less than $11,756 per year to meet basic costs for food, housing, health care and transportation. Using a more realistic Supplemental Poverty Measure, even more older adults are considered poor, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Continue reading
Data compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation show that when the Children’s Health Insurance Program was enacted in 1997, the uninsured rate among children (those individuals under age 18) was 14 percent and that it reached an all-time low of 5 percent last year.
Officials in 12 states may start sending letters to parents this week, alerting families that funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program is running out, according to reporting by Colby Itkowitz and Sandhya Somashekhar in The Washington Post. In Colorado, letters went out in the mail today.
“Many states have enough money to keep their individual programs afloat for at least a few months, but five could run out in late December if lawmakers do not act,” Itkowitz and Somashekhar wrote. “Others will start to exhaust resources the following month.” Continue reading
An innovative new nonprofit dental clinic in a San Diego senior center is bringing badly needed preventive and restorative care to low-income elders.
The clinic, which celebrated its grand opening in October, also has a broader goal. Organizers at the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center hope that by providing timely oral health care services to patients, they can improve their overall health as well. Continue reading
Photo: Andy Marso / Heartland Health MonitorDr. John Fasbinder, shown working on a patient, was featured in a recent public radio piece by KHI News Service’s Andy Marso about rural dental care challenges for Medicaid recipients.
Two recent stories aired on public radio explored the challenges faced by poor rural Americans in need of dental care. These stories have also offered examples of providers who are working mightily to help address those needs while confronting challenges of their own.
In “A Good Dentist is Hard to Find in Rural America,” Alison Kodjak, a health policy correspondent on NPR’s Science Desk, introduced listeners to a Wisconsin woman gratefully getting accustomed to a new denture. “It feels weird right now, but I’ll get used to it,” said Jessica Stefonik.
“Stefonik is just 31 years old,” Kodjak noted in her piece. “She is one of the millions of people who are poor and live in rural America and have little to no access to dental care.” Continue reading
Photo: Rachel S. O’Hara /Sarasota Herald-TribuneFelix Perlata, 4, Alani Waiters, 5, and Cymia Martin, 4, floss their teeth before heading back to class at Morton Clark Head Start preschool in Bradenton, Fla.
In recent months, Maggie Clark’s Two Million Kids series for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune has explored many facets of the state’s troubled Medicaid program: a dearth of preventive and specialty care in many communities, problems faced by providers and a decade-long legal battle to reform the system. In a recent installment, Clark focused upon the shortage of oral health care services for Florida’s poor children. Continue reading