Elderly poverty rates increase in Wisconsin

The number of people living in poverty is declining overall, but the elderly population is bucking that trend. The number of adults age 65 and older struggling to make ends meet is increasing, according to the 11th annual Wisconsin Poverty Report.

The report blames the rise on out-of-pocket medical expenses like insurance premiums, copayments for medical services, prescription costs and uninsured medical costs.

Jennifer Fischer is the manager of the Aging and Disability Resource Center she said she wasn’t surprised by the findings and agrees that medical costs like stays at assisted living facilities create financial burdens.

Fischer said there are a number of things the state offers to alleviate costs. She said members of the elderly population can get help with Medicare premiums, apply for the FoodShare programs, get energy assistance and get prescription drugs at a reduced price. For information on how to access those programs, you can contact the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Dane County.

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