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New Jersey State Fact Sheet

AARP is proud to represent and serve 1,312,908 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 New Jersey 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 financial service companies from taking advantage of older Americans and to protect consumers from unfair utility hikes.

Age 50+ voters:  70 percent of New Jerseyans 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 New Jerseyans

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

  • Providing relief for 1,306,665 New Jerseyans who won’t receive a cost of living increase (COLA) this year.

Protecting Medicare:  We are fighting to protect guaranteed benefits for the 1,279,020 New Jerseyans 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 445,380 seniors by closing the Medicare Part D coverage gap or “doughnut hole.”
  • Expanding access to home and community-based services through Medicaid – the largest payer of long-term services and supports – which, in 2007, spent only 20 percent of long-term care dollars in on home and community based-services for older adults and adults with physical disabilities and 80 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 1,470,000 family caregivers in – individuals who provide help to their loved ones to enable them to live at home and whose unpaid contributions are valued at $11,800,000,000.   

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

  • Enacting Automatic IRA legislation, which would help many of the estimated 2,317,900 New Jerseyans who don’t currently have a retirement plan at work to have simple access to a retirement savings account.

AARP: Fighting for New Jersey

New Jersey has 13 congressional districts and over 1.3 million AARP members. Federal advocacy is supported by a network of 93 chapters which sponsor election-year candidate debates, key leader forums, and community and Tele-town halls attended by federal representatives. Twenty five volunteer coordinators manage our grassroots network at the state, regional, and county levels, allowing AARP to quickly mobilize thousands of volunteer activists. Almost 200,000 activists are available by email for immediate calls-to-action.

In 2009, we engaged hundreds of thousands of members through our e-activist network and multiple direct-mail initiatives to AARP volunteers and activists.

In the same year, AARP New Jersey conducted a series of Tele-town halls with federal and state officials as guest to raise issues and answer questions from AARP members on issues like health care and economic security. As a result of AARP’s engagement, two significant legislative bills were passed into law to improve the quality of health care in New Jersey.  The Hospital Errors Accountability Law (HEAL) requires the state to release the number of preventable medical errors for each hospital in New Jersey.  A second law requires public reporting of hospital infections for ambulatory surgery centers, which is already required for hospitals

Op-Eds and Letters to The Editor on federal issues resulted in more than 5,500,000 media impressions on issues such as economic stimulus, election issues, prescription drug coverage, health care, and Medicare.  These issues were also featured at several news conferences, including some with members of Congress. In addition, AARP’s communications efforts included numerous radio and television interviews by AARP New Jersey staff and key volunteers on federal issues.

AARP Contact Information

New Jersey:  Jim Dieterle, Sr. State Director, JDieterle@aarp.org; (609) 452-3919           
Washington, DC:  Denise DeMichele, Legislative Representative; DDemichele@aarp.org, (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. 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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