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Massachusetts State Fact Sheet

AARP is proud to represent and serve 824,014 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 Massachusetts 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:  78 percent of Massachusetts residents 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 Residents of

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

  • Providing relief for 1,006,070 seniors who won’t receive a cost of living increase (COLA) this year.

Protecting Medicare:  We are fighting to protect guaranteed benefits for the 1,015,086 residents of 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 336,087 seniors by closing the Medicare Part D coverage gap or “doughnut hole.”
  • Preventing insurance companies from denying affordable coverage to up to 66,000 residents of 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 23 percent of long-term care dollars in on home and community based-services for older adults and adults with physical disabilities and 76 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 1,040,000 family caregivers in Massachusetts – individuals who provide help to their loved ones to enable them to live at home and whose unpaid contributions are valued at $8,800,000,000.   

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

  • Enacting Automatic IRA legislation, which would help many of the estimated 1,582,000 residents of who don’t currently have a retirement plan at work to have simple access to a retirement savings account.

AARP: Fighting for Massachusetts

has 10 congressional districts and more than 800,000 AARP members.  Our advocacy is supported by a statewide network of AARP chapters and volunteers who regularly engage in both federal and state issues.  In addition, more than 100,000 activists are available by email for immediate calls-to-action. 

AARP Massachusetts is an active participant in a wide range of health, economic security, and consumer issues.  At the state level, we successfully advocated for prescription drug coverage to be included as a benefit in the state’s wide-reaching health reform and convinced the Connector Board to address affordability protections, especially for older residents.    We are a member of the Health Care Quality and Cost Council Advisory Committee, and are bringing a consumer voice to payment reform discussions. 

AARP Massachusetts is a member of the Long-term care Financing Advisory Committee and will be recommending strategies for short-term and long-term changes to make the long-term care system affordable to residents.

Despite vast fiscal shortfalls in the state budget, AARP Massachusetts has been able to limit the negative impact and maintain the structural integrity of many state programs and services for our most vulnerable residents, such as MassHealth, Prescription Advantage and protective services for elders.

In 2010, AARP Massachusetts will be engaging our members to advocate for full funding for programs and services that keep Bay Staters healthy, economically secure and living in dignity.  AARP is also engaged in efforts at the state level to make our roads safer and our communities more livable as our society ages.

AARP Contact Information

Massachusetts:  Jessica Costantino, Massachusetts Director of Advocacy,; (617) 305-0538
Washington, DC: Denise DeMichele, Legislative Representative;, (202) 434-3374



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

Protecting Medicare: The Kaiser Family Foundation, 2008. State Health Facts.

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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