No poverty measure produced by U.S. government agencies or by other independent researchers incorporates health care/insurance needs and benefits. The Official Poverty Measure excludes all in-kind benefits. While the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), created in 2009, includes in-kind benefits that can be used to purchase food, clothing, shelter and utilities, it does not count private or public health insurance benefits as resources. The 2019 National Academy of Sciences Committee Report, A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty, recommended that government agencies “move expeditiously to evaluate a health-inclusive poverty measure (HIPM).”
Economists Sanders Korenman and Dahlia Remler have developed an HIPM with previous RSF support. Current grant support will underwrite the investigators’ presentations on the HIPM to an Interagency Technical Working Group. First, Korenman and Remler will explain the HIPM and demonstrate its value relative to other existing and potential approaches to including health care in poverty measurement. Second, they will present conceptual issues and empirical analyses to help inform statistical agencies’ implementation decisions with respect to a HIPM-like version of the SPM.