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Kentucky State Fact Sheet

AARP is proud to represent and serve 465,521 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 Kentucky 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: 73 percent of Kentuckians 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 Kentuckians

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

  • Providing relief for 758,906 who won’t receive a cost of living increase (COLA) this year.

Protecting Medicare:  We are fighting to protect guaranteed benefits for the 724,356 Kentuckians 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 215,857 seniors by closing the Medicare Part D coverage gap or “doughnut hole.”
  • Preventing insurance companies from denying affordable coverage to up to 100,000 Kentuckians 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 8 percent of long-term care dollars in on home and community based-services for older adults and adults with physical disabilities and 92 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 800,000 family caregivers in Kentucky – individuals who provide help to their loved ones to enable them to live at home and whose unpaid contributions are valued at $5,400,000,000.   

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

  • Enacting Automatic IRA legislation, which would help many of the estimated 1,086,500 Kentuckians who don’t currently have a retirement plan at work to have simple access to a retirement savings account.

AARP: Fighting for Kentucky

In 2009, AARP Kentucky staff and volunteers conducted over 45 community conversations engaging over 1,000 people on health care reform.  We participated in newspaper, television and radio interviews across the state on the topic.

AARP Kentucky conducted a health care reform Opinion Leader Forum anchored by AARP Board Member Lee Hammond in in early August.  The forum drew over 150 people from across the Commonwealth and represented groups with broad interests on the issue.

AARP Kentucky had an exhibit booth at the state fair and hosted daily health care reform seminars for fairgoers.  The event engaged thousands of people during the 11 days.

We conducted a Tele-town hall for members in the 6th congressional district on health care reform with over 17,000 AARP members participating.  This was such a success that we held a statewide Tele-town hall reaching over 39,000 AARP Kentucky members.

AARP Kentucky also collaborated with local Chambers of Commerce, the Kentucky Community & Technical College System and other organizations across the state to provide job search workshops, job fairs and manager education for almost 5000 older job seekers and employers.  In an effort to further raise awareness of the value of older workers, AARP Kentucky worked with Governor Steve Beshear to proclaim March 2-9, 2009, “Work after 50 Week.”

In 2010, AARP Kentucky has been working with the Governor, the state legislature and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to expand the services in the home and community to allow those who wish to remain in their homes to do so.

AARP Contact Information

Kentucky:  Phil Peters, Senior State Director; PPeters@aarp.org; (502) 394-3422

Washington, DC: Kristin Keckeisen, Senior Legislative Representative; KKeckeisen@aarp.org; (202) 434-3767

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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