AARP is proud to represent and serve 600,521 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 Connecticut 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: 74 percent of Connecticut 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
Strengthening Social Security: We are fighting to strengthen Social Security for current and future generations by:
- Providing relief for 556,968 who won’t receive a cost of living increase (COLA) this year.
Protecting Medicare: We are fighting to protect guaranteed benefits for the 546,623 residents 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 198,658 seniors by closing the Medicare Part D coverage gap or “doughnut hole.”
- Preventing insurance companies from denying affordable coverage to up to 65,000 residents 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 9 percent of long-term care dollars in on home and community based-services for older adults and adults with physical disabilities and 91 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 560,000 family caregivers in Connecticut – individuals who provide help to their loved ones to enable them to live at home and whose unpaid contributions are valued at $4,900,000,000.
Promoting Retirement Savings: We are fighting to help Americans save for retirement by:
- Enacting Automatic IRA legislation, which would help many of the estimated 867,700 residents who don’t currently have a retirement plan at work to have simple access to a retirement savings account.
AARP: Fighting for Connecticut
In , AARP’s advocacy is supported by a network of 72 volunteers, 48 chapters, 107,264 on-line activists who are available by email for immediate calls to-action, plus thousands more activists available by mail. AARP Connecticut sponsors election year voter forums, voter guides, Tele-town halls, and community service opportunities throughout the state, that both engage and educate members. Our grassroots network is coordinated by 17 volunteer leaders, allowing AARP to quickly mobilize members and volunteer activists.
In 2009, held five community conversations and eight Tele-town halls with members of Congress and policy experts. These efforts engaged over 65,000 residents on AARP’s federal health care priorities, including closing the Medicare Part D “Doughnut Hole,” providing affordable coverage for members age 50-64, and strengthening Medicare.
At the state level, AARP Connecticut led successful campaigns to expand Dial-A-Ride transportation for older adults and persons with disabilities, combat high electric utility bills, mitigate proposed cuts to health and long-term care programs, enact a state health care reform plan aimed at covering 98% of Connecticut residents by 2014, and establishing broader eligibility for Medicare Savings Programs, which will reduce prescription drug and Medicare costs for eligible seniors. We generated strong public support for our legislative issues using grassroots organizing techniques, automated calls, social networking media, electronic advocacy, and direct-mail. The AARP Bulletin, which every AARP member receives monthly, featured Connecticut-specific stories. AARP Connecticut’s State Member Newsletter reaches 35,000 members each quarter. AARP volunteers and members regularly communicate with state and federal elected officials.
With the help of 47 volunteers, AARP Connecticut’s community programs connect thousands of seniors to public assistance programs, including energy assistance, health care, prescription drugs, and food assistance benefits. AARP’s Driver Safety program helps over 11,000 drivers in per year avoid accidents, improve driving skills, and reduce their car insurance costs.
AARP Contact Information
Connecticut: Director; BKelley@aarp.org; (860) 548-3161
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.