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Gerry Smolka, BA, MSS

Senior Strategic Policy Advisor

Gerry Smolka, BA, MSS

Gerry Smolka, BA, MSS

Areas of Expertise

Health coverage, the uninsured, private health insurance, Medicare supplemental insurance, and retiree health


Gerry Smolka is a senior strategic policy advisor with AARP’s Public Policy Institute (PPI). Her work focuses on health coverage among adults aged 50 and older, private health insurance market reforms, the expansion of private health coverage to older adults, retiree coverage, and Medicare supplemental insurance.

Since joining PPI in 1994, she has provided policy analysis and research related to HIPAA market reforms, Medicare buy-in proposals, design and implementation of the Medicare drug benefit, and health reform. She has represented AARP on National Association of Insurance Commissioners work groups charged with developing changes to national Medigap standards.

Before joining AARP, she worked at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts in provider contracting and benefit development. Earlier she provided policy analysis and conducted research for private organizations in the U.S. and England, the Civil Rights Commission, and the Administration on Aging. She has a bachelor’s degree from Smith College and a master’s degree in social service from Bryn Mawr School of Social Work and Social Research.

In Her Words

“In the past, many people without insurance through their employer—especially people ages 50 through 64—faced major problems getting insurance on the individual market. The ACA put in place reforms to knock down some of the hurdles.” “Improving the Odds for 9 Million Adults Ages 50–64”

Selected Publications

See all blog posts by Gerry Smolka

Selected Honors

  • Member, National Academy of Social Insurance, 2014
  • Fellow, Gerontological Society of America, 2010
  • AARP 1995 Outstanding Association Achievement Award
  • AARP 1992 Leadership Award
  • National Institute on Aging/National Institute on Mental Health Postdoctoral Fellow, 1983–1986