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Harriet Komisar, PhD

Senior Strategic Policy Advisor

Areas of Expertise

Medicare and long-term services and supports


Harriet Komisar is a senior strategic policy advisor on the Health Team in AARP’s Public Policy Institute, where she focuses on Medicare and other health care policy topics. She has extensive research experience on issues in health care and long-term care financing and policy.

Before joining AARP in April 2013, Harriet was a research professor at the Health Policy Institute and the Georgetown Public Policy Institute (now the McCourt School of Public Policy) at Georgetown University. She had recently completed a year as a visiting policy analyst in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy and Evaluation at the US Department
of Health and Human Services. From 2009 to 2010, Harriet was a senior research analyst at the Hilltop Institute at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Before joining Georgetown University in 1996, she was a principal analyst at the Congressional Budget Office, where she worked on topics related to Medicare and other areas of federal health care policy. Harriet received a PhD in economics from Cornell University and a bachelor of arts from Yale University.

In Her Words

“Expenses for long-term services and supports are a major risk to economic security in retirement. … The need for long-term services and supports is uncertain and varies widely among individuals. Some people will not need any long-term care services during their lives; others will need extensive assistance for an extended period of time.” “The Effects of Rising Health Care Costs on Middle-Class Economic Security”

Selected Publications

H. Komisar, Premium Support is the Wrong Direction for Medicare: Highlights of a Research Report, AARP Public Policy Institute, Washington, DC, October 2017.

H. Komisar, Medicare’s Financial Protections for Consumers: Limits on Balance Billing and Private Contracting by Physicians, AARP Public Policy Institute, January 2017.

H. Komisar, The Effects of Rising Health Care Costs on Middle-Class Economic Security, AARP Public Policy Institute, Washington, DC, January 2013.

H. Komisar, J. Cubanski, L. Dawson, and T. Neuman, Key Issues in Understanding the Economic and Health Security of Current and Future Generations of Seniors, Kaiser Family Foundation, Menlo Park, CA, March 2012.

H. Komisar and J. Feder, Transforming Care for Medicare Beneficiaries with Chronic Conditions and Long-Term Care Needs: Coordinating Care across All Services, SCAN Foundation, Long Beach, CA, October 2011.

P. Kemper, H. Komisar, and L. Alecxih, “Long-Term Care over an Uncertain Future: What Can Current Retirees Expect?,” Inquiry 42, no. 4 (Winter 2005/2006): 335–50.



Long-Term Services & Supports State Scorecard

A State Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Supports for Older Adults, People with Physical Disabilities, and Family Caregivers


Aging Demographics

One in Three Americans is Now 50 or Older

By 2030, one out of every five people in the United State will be 65-plus. Will your community be ready?

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