BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Statistics indicate that Louisiana ranks second only to Mississippi as one of the nation’s most poverty-ridden states. 

Approximately 871,467 people don’t have enough money to secure stable living conditions and purchase basic items essential to survival.

As this is the case, an article that poses the question, ‘Is it possible to make too much money?’ may seem silly. 

But there is a very specific financial category that certain employed individuals fall into.

The irony of being ‘middle-class’ on paper and poor in real life

Some of these workers may earn enough to be considered economically middle-class, but due to health insurance costs or taxes, they struggle to pay for basic food, clothing, and shelter needs. 

When these individuals seek government assistance, they’re denied, because they “make too much.”   

For example, if a worker with a medical condition earns a gross income of $40,000 annually, but their employer doesn’t provide health insurance, they cannot be covered by Medicaid because they make too much money.

This means the worker will likely seek coverage from a provider listed on the Health Insurance Marketplace®.

Individuals with medical conditions may find that plans can be as much as $400 to $500 monthly. This does not include the additional costs of doctor’s visits and medications, which may be $200 and up monthly.

In time, after their deductible is met, the costs of doctor’s visits and medications will decrease.

But before then, the worker may be of middle-class income status on paper, while in reality, they’re unable to put food on the table. 

Earning ‘too much’ yet unable to afford groceries

To illustrate, Sandi Zahar, a Texas-based part-time worker who suffers from diabetes, told CNN that a third of her income went to health care costs and that she “made too much” to qualify for food stamps or Medicaid.

This meant she had no way to pay for food, which is key to diabetic health. So, Zahar had to rely on local food banks for nutrition.

Zahar is not alone in struggling to make ends meet despite ‘making too much money.’

Millions of working Americans earn “too much” to qualify for government assistance even though they make too little to consistently pay for basic necessities such as food and housing. 

Resources

People in the Baton Rouge area who require assistance in securing basic food items can contact The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. 

Click here to access the food bank’s website.