Monday, February 06, 2006

New Federal Poverty Guidelines

The U. S. Health and Human Services Department has published new federal poverty guidelines (FPG) for 2006. These guidelines are used to determine eligibility and benefits for several programs, including Medicare Part D, Medicaid, and the Texas HIV Medication Program. The following list shows the FPG various family units. A "family of one" would be considered to be at 100% of the 2006 FPG if its income were $9,800 and so on.

2006 POVERTY GUIDELINES FOR THE 48 CONTIGUOUS STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Persons in family unit Poverty guideline
1 ............................................ $9,800
2 ............................................ 13,200
3 ............................................ 16,600
4 ............................................ 20,000
5 ............................................ 23,400
6 ............................................ 26,800
7 ............................................ 30,200
8 ............................................ 33,600
For family units with more than 8 persons, add $3,400 for each additional person.

The FPG for families in Alaska and Hawaii is higher.

FPG is not the same as FPL (federal poverty level), the latter being a unit used by the Census Bureau. In practice, FPG lags behind FPL.

As required by law, this update is accomplished by increasing the latest published Census Bureau poverty thresholds by the relevant percentage change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI–U). The guidelines in this 2006 notice reflect the 3.4 percent price increase between calendar years 2004 and 2005. After this inflation adjustment, the guidelines are rounded and adjusted to standardize the differences between family sizes. The same calculation procedure was used this year as in previous years. (Note that these 2006 guidelines are roughly equal to the poverty thresholds for calendar year 2005 which the Census Bureau expects to publish in final form in August 2006.)

The Texas HIV Medication Program allows eligibility for services to clients whose income is at 200% of FPG. For a "family of one" in 2006 that amount will be $19,600.

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