AARP is proud to represent and serve 126,744 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 Vermont 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: 76 percent of Vermonters 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 Vermonters
Strengthening Social Security: We are fighting to strengthen Social Security for current and future generations by:
- Providing relief for 110,836 Vermonters who won’t receive a cost of living increase (COLA) this year.
Protecting Medicare: We are fighting to protect guaranteed benefits for the 104,460 Vermonters 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 31,858 seniors by closing the Medicare Part D coverage gap or “doughnut hole.”
- Preventing insurance companies from denying affordable coverage to up to 11,000 Vermonters 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 35 percent of long-term care dollars in on home and community based-services for older adults and adults with physical disabilities and 65 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 83,000 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 $680,000,000.
Promoting Retirement Savings: We are fighting to help Americans save for retirement by:
- Enacting Automatic IRA legislation, which would help many of the estimated 177,900 Vermonters who don’t currently have a retirement plan at work to have simple access to a retirement savings account.
AARP: Fighting for Vermont
AARP Vermont has one congressional district and more than 125,000 AARP members. In 2009, we engaged thousands of volunteers in support of federal and state AARP legislative priorities. The Congressional delegation updated thousands of AARP members directly on the progress of federal health care reform through Tele-town halls.
AARP Vermont has more than 18,000 e-activists and we mobilize volunteers and educate members through direct mail, e-mail alerts, Tele-town halls, key leader forums, voter education, election year debates, and issue advertising.
In 2009, AARP Vermont was able to save the state-funded low-income senior pharmacy program from elimination, maintain premium assistance for Catamount Health Plan and expand health coverage to the uninsured. AARP Vermont also helped to pass the strongest ban on gifts to doctors from manufacturers of prescription drugs, medical devices and biological products in the country. In May 2009, AARP Vermont filed a petition with the state utility regulatory board asking them to create the first low-income electric discount in Vermont’s history.
In 2010, AARP Vermont is working with community partners from environmental, smart growth, public transportation and public health organizations to pass a statewide complete streets law to assure greater mobility options for people of all ages and abilities. AARP members will also be mobilized to fend off millions of dollars in proposed budget cuts for Fiscal Year 2011 that would undermine the quality of the state’s long-term care services network for older Vermonters.
AARP Contact Information
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.