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North Carolina State Fact Sheet

AARP is proud to represent and serve 1,041,474 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 North Carolina 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:  67 percent of North Carolinians 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

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

  • Providing relief for 1,495,149 who won’t receive a cost of living increase (COLA) this year.

Protecting Medicare:  We are fighting to protect guaranteed benefits for the 1,392,450 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 489,736 seniors by closing the Medicare Part D coverage gap or “doughnut hole.”
  • Preventing insurance companies from denying affordable coverage to up to 243,000 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 38 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 1,690,000 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 $11,600,000,000.   

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

  • Enacting Automatic IRA legislation, which would help many of the estimated 2,406,300 who don’t currently have a retirement plan at work to have simple access to a retirement savings account. 

AARP: Fighting for North Carolina

AARP North Carolina’s advocacy work is supported by over 120 key volunteer legislative contacts from across the state and an on-line activist list of over 130,000 North Carolinians.  These activists, working with state staff, support the national AARP office with federal advocacy work, and are also engaged with state legislative advocacy efforts.

Developing public policy that serves the interests of a group as diverse as older Americans is a formidable task.  And, of course, older Americans have many of the same concerns as younger members of our society – particularly about jobs, transportation and health care.

An increasing number of need the essential services for older adults and persons with disabilities provided by Medicaid.  State budget shortfalls demand that federal assistance supplement services for these populations in North Carolina.  Family caregivers often struggle to provide the care that their family members need, and face a lack of respite and other supportive services in their communities.  The demand for in-home services such as home-delivered meals has exceeded provider capacity, and often means a family’s only option is institutionalized care.  The high cost of prescription drugs for seniors continues to strain family budgets and force seniors to choose between taking needed medicines and paying for other living expenses.  AARP North Carolina will focus its advocacy on these issues in 2010.

North Carolina’s older population growth is outpacing growth in most of the rest of the country, and this presents special challenges to the state – from improved public transportation options, to new approaches to long-term care services and supports, to an updated tax system.

AARP Contact Information

North Carolina:  Director, RJackson@aarp.org; (919) 508-0265
Washington, DC: Andrea Price Carter, Sr. Legislative Representative, APCarter@aarp.org; (202) 434-3771

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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