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Idaho State Fact Sheet

AARP is proud to represent and serve 178,009 AARP members age 50+ in the state.

For 50 years, AARP has had one mission:  making life better for older Americans. AARP was created after its founder discovered a retired teacher in poor health living in a chicken coop, unable to afford medical care and with barely enough money to live on. Since then, AARP has been fighting for health and financial security for all Americans.

In 2010, AARP Idaho will be working with legislators from both parties to protect lifeline programs that provide seniors with food, health care and other necessities from deep budget cuts.  We will also be working to strengthen state laws to prevent banks and credit card companies from taking advantage of older Americans and to protect consumers from unfair utility hikes.

Age 50+ voters: 70 percent of Idahoans age 50+ voted in the 2008 election, sending a clear message that it’s time for elected officials from both sides of the aisle to come together to solve our nation’s problems.

AARP:  Working To Improve the Lives of All Idahoans

Strengthening Social Security:  We are fighting to strengthen Social Security for current and future generations by:

  • Providing relief for 228,783 who won’t receive a cost of living increase (COLA) this year.

Protecting Medicare:  We are fighting to protect guaranteed benefits for the 212,381 Idahoans who receive their health care through Medicare.

Improving Health Care:  We are fighting to stop insurance abuses and protect the Medicare benefits seniors have earned by:

  • Lowering drug costs for 87,509 seniors by closing the Medicare Part D coverage gap or “doughnut hole.”
  • Preventing insurance companies from denying affordable coverage to up to 32,000 Idahoans age 50-64 based on age or pre-existing condition.
  • Expanding access to home and community-based services through Medicaid – the largest payer of long-term services and supports – which, in 2007, spent only 39 percent of long-term care dollars in on home and community based-services for older adults and adults with physical disabilities and 61 percent on institutional care for the same population.

Supporting Caregivers:  AARP is fighting to ensure more Americans can receive the services they need to live independently in their homes and communities by:

  • Valuing and supporting the 250,000 family caregivers in Idaho – individuals who provide help to their loved ones to enable them to live at home and whose unpaid contributions are valued at $1,600,000,000.   

Promoting Retirement Savings:  We are fighting to help Americans save for retirement by:

  • Enacting Automatic IRA legislation, which would help many of the estimated 392,000 Idahoans who don’t currently have a retirement plan at work to have simple access to a retirement savings account. 

AARP: Fighting for Idaho

More than 30,000 AARP Idaho on-line activists take action and communicate with federal and state elected officials on the issues of greatest importance to Idahoans.

AARP volunteers are well known and active across the state and at the state Capitol.  We have also traveled extensively throughout the state hearing the needs of our members, potential members, elected officials, and numerous organizations. For example, in 2009, AARP hit the streets in every town and community in to press for affordable access to health care for all Idahoans.  Through our statewide efforts, we conducted hundreds of forums, held numerous community conversations with elected leaders, and held opinion leader forums addressing the future need for affordable, quality health care and sound financial security for all Americans.

During the 2009 state legislative session, AARP supported legislation, now law, to allow Idaho residents who’ve had a health claim denied by their health plan to obtain an additional, independent review of that decision from  the Idaho Department of Insurance.  In 2010, AARP is fighting state budget cuts to health care and home care services. If enacted, these cuts will deliver the harshest blow to Idahoans already struggling in the difficult economic climate. For example, they may force some older people getting care at home into expensive institutional care, such as nursing homes.  AARP is tackling health care at the state level, working to ensure children, families, and the elderly have the affordable access to the coverage and services they need.  AARP volunteers are also taking aim at unscrupulous lenders, working to tighten the reins on the largely unregulated industry of payday lenders and curb predatory lending in the state.

AARP Contact Information

Idaho:  Jim Wordelman, Senior State Director; JWordelman@aarp.org; (208) 855-4001
Washington, DC: Greg Wang, Senior Legislative Representative; GWang@aarp.org; (202) 434-3742

References

Strengthening Social Security: Social Security Administration, 2007. OASDI Beneficiaries by State and County.

Protecting Medicare: The Kaiser Family Foundation, 2008. State Health Facts. http://www.statehealthfacts.org/

Improving Health Care: Doughnut hole: AARP (PPI) Fact Sheet, 2009. “Closing the ‘Doughnut Hole’ Will Help Protect Over One-Third of Medicare Beneficiaries from High Drug Costs”

Improving Health Care: Uninsured 50-64: Census Bureau. Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2007 through 2009

Improving Health Care: Home and Community-Based Services: AARP PPI, 2009. Across the States: Profiles of Long-term Care and Independent Living.

Supporting Caregivers: AARP PPI, 2008. Valuing the Invaluable: The Economic Value of Caregiving, 2008 Update.

Promoting Retirement Savings: Based on data from the US Census, State and Patterns & Current Populations Survey statistics on Pension Coverage. 2004.

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