LA CROSSE, WI - Nicole Slater's entire life revolves around making ends meet for her family of four.
"It's not easy when you're not making any money, it's hard, the cost of living is high," she said. "You got to budget everything. your food, your clothing."
Health insurance is another concern on Slater's list of expenses, but thanks to Medicaid, she's glad to be one of millions across the country who can say they're covered when it comes to medical expenses.
A new study by the Census Bureau shows that while household incomes and poverty rates haven't changed in recent years, there's been a drop in percentage of people without health insurance coverage.
According to the report, average household incomes came in at $51,071 for 2012, virtually the same as the amount reported in 2011.
The poverty rate for 2012 was 15 percent, satistically unchanged from 2011.
But the number of uninsured Americans fell from 15.7 percent to 15.4 percent over the two years.
"I think it's gone up and down but really has evened out to stay pretty much the same," said Lori Graff of the Western Region for Economic Assistance.
According to county officials, La Crosse County and surrounding areas have maintained their rates of healthcare coverage in recent years. However, changes in eligibiltiy for Medicaid and other programs coming this fall could make some ineligible and increase the number of uninsured.
Slater's hoping her family's status as Medicaid participants doesn't change in the coming months, either.
"You can't afford everyday living, so how can you afford to pay for medical bills and expenses out of your own pocket?" she asked.
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