2010 Census

Nowhere near as inspiring as the other blogs here on our home page, below is some of the data that Skip & Lisa present at their workshops, updated with the recent 2010 Census results.  I don't have an analysis about it, but you're welcome to share your thoughts in the comments below. According to the 2010 US Census, the median US household income was $49,777. 

If you break US income for 2010 down into percentiles, it looks something like this:

20% made under $20,000

20% made $20,000 to $37,000

20% made $37,000 to $62,000

20% made $62,000 to $100,000

20% made $100,000 and over

Keep in mind that these are households, not individuals, and the average size of a household in 2010 was roughly 3 people.

OK, so now let’s talk about net monthly income.When you look at what’s taken out for taxes, net monthly income is usually about 70% of gross monthly income.

Which means that in 2010, for US households of roughly 3 people,

20% took home $1167 or less per month.

20% took home $1167 to $2158 per month.

20% took home $2158 to $3617 per month.

20% took home $3617 to $5833 per month.

20% took home $5833 or more.

So, if the going rate for an acupuncture treatment is $80 and a patient is coming in weekly for treatment (which is a minimum for most conditions), you’re talking about $320 per month out of pocket.So that means, if a patient were to come in weekly for acupuncture at the going rate, it would take:
  • For the 20% who made under $20,000 – weekly acupuncture would require 27% or more of their net income.
  • For the 20% who made $20,000 to $37,000 – weekly acupuncture would require or more of their net income.
  • For the 20% who made $37,000 to $62,000 – weekly acupuncture would require 9% or more of their net income.
  • For the 20% who made $62,000 to $100,000 – weekly acupuncture would require 5% or more of their net income.
  • For the 20% who made $100,000 and over – weekly acupuncture would require 6% or less of their net income.

This story was posted on February 9 2011 by Jessica Feltz.

Comments

  • February 9 2011 at 12:51 PM
    Justine writes:

    In conclusion…

    Taking median income of $49,777 gross = $34,843.90 net = $2,903/month

    If 4% of income is considered “disposable,” then $116.14/month is disposable - so this could mean 5-6 acupuncture treatments per month if the price is $15-20 or 4-5 treatments per month is the price is $25-30 - which shows why a sliding scale of $15-40 is such a great way to have people pay…

    Whereas for $80/treatment, a person could get 1-2 treatments.

    And that’s for the median household folks - not the ones below.

      0 likes
  • February 9 2011 at 7:07 PM
    melissa writes:

    awesome! and “disposable” income includes

    what? everything outside of shelter (rent, utilties, insurance), food, and ___?

    so in your example of $116.00/month does disposable include all or part of some of these: all health costs, any needed medications, clothing, kids school fees or activites, transportation, household or car repairs, phone, any possibility of self-care or a movie or recreation once in a while?

    thanks for this reminder, Justine!

     

    Melissa

    Good health is not a measure of adapting to a sick society.

    When the power of love outshines the love of power, the world will know peace.

      0 likes
  • February 10 2011 at 11:36 AM
    Justine writes:

    Well…

    Okay, so 4% is actually what I got from Lisa’s acupuncture & classism lecture - but here are some interesting links I found to tell us about it more:

    http://financialplan.about.com/od/budgetin1/f/ExpensePercent.htm

    So from that website, theoretically one’s budget should look like:

    Food at home 7.7%

    Food away from home 5.4%

    Alcoholic beverages 1.0%

    Total food and drink 14.1%

    Housing 32.9%

    Apparel and services 4.0%
    Vehicles 9.1%

    Gasoline and motor oil 3.3%

    Other transportation 6.7%

    TotalTransportation 19.1%

    Healthcare 5.9%

    Entertainment 5.0%

    Personal care products and services 1.3%

    Reading .3%

    Education 1.9%

    Tobacco products and smoking supplies .7%

    Miscellaneous 1.5%

    Cash contributions 3.4%

    Personal insurance and pensions 9.9%

     Question is - does acu fall under the realm of healthcare expense, miscellaneous or personal care services?  Guess it depends on what people are putting toward all of those.

    Wikipedia gives another explanation of discretionary (rather than disposable) income - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disposable_and_discretionary_income

    so really I meant discretionary,  not disposable.

      1 likes
  • February 10 2011 at 1:05 PM
    melissa writes:

    interesting

    hey justine,

    didn’t mean to create more work for you! my geeky self is liking seeing the figures.

    funny list though. i like that they including “reading” although it’s still less than half the “tobacco and smoking supplies.”

    so i see it this way, from above percentages: housing, food, transportation and insurance (pension? what’s that? but we’ll assume basic required car, mortgage or renter’s, maybe basic life? ins) add up to 76.5%, leaving $697/mo for everything else.

    and you can’t convince me that education expenses are going to be less than $55/mo (1.9% of 34,844)—ask any parent (school supplies? activites fee? art supplies fund raiser?, etc) or anyone with a student loan. remember, for three individuals.

    and car expenses (if you have one): snow tires, maintenance and repairs (ever been suddenly hit with a new clutch, transmission or fuel pump?) could be twice that in one shot.

    clothing: 1500/yr for three people, let’s use two adults, one child just as an example. clothes needed for work: coveralls, gloves, work boots, or uniform? (no allowance for tools?) or “nice” clothes and shoes for office or retail? what about winter clothes for kid, class field trip, any sports uniforms or equipment, school play, musical instument?

    health expenses, considering the lack of insurance and cost of meds for any chronic condition, (which many of our patients are on with insurance or without), can be a couple hundred/month. an unexpected trip to the emergency room? cavities or root canal? could be several months’ worth of “discretionay income” gone. a trip to care for an ailing relative? missing work to care for yourself or your own family? remember, this category is for three individuals’ health.

    and on and on just in regular, daily life. and the many possilbe permutations of three in a household: caring for someone with a disabilty? seasonal fluctuation in work?

    and this is the median, meaning that 50% of people are not even this well-off. the next quintile down has like $400/mo for all these other things (for three people)...

    so, i guess i’m just beating the proverbial horse to remind us that there are many, varied choices people are faced with to even have ANY acupuncture at all.

    and some of our colleagues still seem bewildered that only 3% of Americans are getting acupuncture and think it’s somehow impolite to talk about numbers. for me, it’s clear to see that it’s insulting to the 97% NOT to talk about them with some measure of concern and respect.

    Melissa

    Good health is not a measure of adapting to a sick society.

    When the power of love outshines the love of power, the world will know peace.

      0 likes
  • February 16 2011 at 10:11 PM
    Guest writes:

    raises the question

    why is CAN so against health insurance? yes, an alarming 16% of americans don’t have health insurance, but that means 84% do. i often hear about how community acupuncture exists to reach the 97% of americans that can’t afford boutique prices, but the reality of the numbers stated above is that most people don’t even have enough to pay $15/treatment if they are already paying for health insurance! wouldn’t you be able to reach many more of your projected patient base if insurance paid for acupuncture?

      0 likes
  • February 16 2011 at 10:20 PM
    ewolfk writes:

    Don’t most insurance

    plans require a $15.00 or $20.00 co-pay?  If so, then the whole insurance thing isn’t much help.  Also, the 84% who do have insurance (and I’m not sure that number is correct)—most plans don’t cover acupuncture.  Or might cover it for six visits, which often isn’t enough to address the problem.

    In any case, though I’m not in a position to speak for CAN, I haven’t found that they are “so against health insurance.”  It has seemed to me more as though they find they can serve more people better by not getting involved in the system.  (Though folks who do get coverage can submit their receipts for reimbursement.)

      0 likes
  • February 17 2011 at 10:00 AM
    Guest writes:

    Perhaps I misspoke (er…

    Perhaps I misspoke (er… mistyped?). I didn’t mean to say that CAN is, “so against” anything. I should have phrased my point like this:

    Why doesn’t CAN spend more of it’s political clout on lobbying to have greater insurance coverage for acupuncture?

    You as a practitioner are under no obligation to collect your co-pay. The treatments would cost nothing out of pocket.

    I got the 84% number from the CDC, so I’m pretty sure that’s accurate. It still means nearly 50 million americans don’t have insurance which is a tragedy, don’t get me wrong - but over 250 million people do have it.

    I understand acupuncture isn’t usually covered, or if it is it is covered for few visits - that’s why it might be beneficial to put some muscle into expanding the coverage. Anyway 6 visits is better than none, and a lot of problems will resolve after 6 visits. Not to mention a lot of people will be willing to sacrifice other “discretionary” items after 6 visits shows them how well acupuncture works for them.

    Believe you me, I am no lover of insurance. I was just wondering if being able to offer treatments to 250 million people for no out-of-pocket cost might help achieve your goals.

    Thanks for the response!

      0 likes
  • February 17 2011 at 11:53 AM
    Lisafer writes:

    thank you, Jess

    for putting this together. You have just saved a whole bunch of workshop attendees from my lazy-ass 2005 version!

      0 likes
  • February 17 2011 at 12:09 PM
    Lisafer writes:

    thank you, Glutton

    for the early morning laugh. “Why doesn’t CAN spend more of its political clout on lobbying to have greater insurance coverage for acupuncture.” This is hilarious on multiple levels.

      0 likes
  • February 17 2011 at 12:14 PM
    keithananda writes:

    LMAO !

    is that you Cowboy?  thanks for the chortle!

     

      0 likes
  • February 17 2011 at 2:34 PM
    Skip writes:

    Skip grabs some popcorn and a root beer; puts legs up on chair

    Gosh! I just love a good comedy.

      0 likes
  • February 17 2011 at 11:07 PM
    GAMB writes:

    My one and only experience

    My one and only experience with insurance reimbursement (BCBS) was when I had a BA practice. I signed up to be a provider and gave the patient all the proper codes on all the proper forms and invoices. Then I spent nearly six hours (not exaggerating) on the phone over the course of several weeks answering redundant questions and resubmitting “lost” paperwork. I don’t remember whether she was reimbursed or not.

    The punchline is that she was the national insurance coordinator for all the employees of a major religious organization and worked with BCBS on a daily, if not hourly, basis. The moral is that accepting insurance is like giving a cat a tongue bath. For all your effort, you only get a mouth full of fur and a case of toxoplasmosis.

    G

    (disclaimer: no cats were given a tongue bath during the production of this response.)

     

      1 likes
  • February 17 2011 at 11:32 PM
    tatyana writes:

    LOL, gene!

    thanks for another chuckle!

    -tatyana

      0 likes
  • February 18 2011 at 10:30 PM
    acupunkgirl writes:

    graphic - long term economic trends in income disparity

    [url=http://tinyurl.com/4n2ybp6]http://tinyurl.com/4n2ybp6[/url]

    It’s an interactive tool so you can slice and dice the graph to show the years as you like.Apologies for posting this on the forum before I saw this blog post, which seems like a better place for this info.

     

      0 likes
  • February 25 2011 at 5:05 PM
    tatyana writes:

    here is another good on on this

    that’s been floating around the internets:

    http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-in-america-chart-graph

    -tatyana

      0 likes

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