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Find answers to your Social Security questions in the AARP Social Security resource center.


PPI’s nonpartisan policy analysis focuses on issues of critical importance to older Americans and draws on the work of experts across the ideological spectrum.

Financial Security

Unlocking the Potential of Emergency Savings Accounts

Despite the United States being in the midst of a prolonged period of economic growth and record-low unemployment, a large share of Americans remain just one surprise event away from financial distress. This report focuses on emergency savings accounts as one potential solution to short-term financial fragility. 

Achieving Economies of Scale in State-Facilitated Retirement Savings Programs: The Case for Multi-State Collaboration

States have considered creating individual retirement savings programs that would serve only their own citizens. However, states should explore other models — ones based on a multi-state or regional approach that would enable participating states to provide even better services to their citizens.

A Look at College Costs across Generations

College costs have risen dramatically over the past several decades. This report compares college costs from 1964-1965 up through the present day, and examines how higher costs—and increased borrowing—may affect young workers’ future retirement security. 

The Student Loan Debt Threat: An Intergenerational Problem

Student loan debt is an intergenerational problem, burdening borrowers of all ages and threatening the long-term financial security of millions of families. This paper examines the landscape of student loan debt with a focus on older borrowers, including increasing loan balances, defaults, taking on debt to help family members, and the implication for long-term financial security.

Saving at Work for a Rainy Day: Perspectives from Employees

Today, a significant share of American households lack the financial resources to weather a modest financial setback. According to the Federal Reserve, four in ten American households could not come up with $400 in a financial emergency. This lack of liquid savings puts their short-term and long-term financial wellness at risk. The AARP Public Policy Institute fielded a national survey to test the appeal of a payroll-deduction rainy day savings program among employees. The survey also identified the program features that are most important to workers.

Disrupting Aging in the Workplace: Profiles in Intergenerational Diversity Leadership

The AARP Public Policy Institute conducted a series of case studies of leading employers to examine programs and practices that address age diversity and the intergenerational workforce. Five companies from a variety of industries and of different sizes were selected for inclusion in the study: Huntington Ingalls Industries, UnitedHealth Group, Centrica, PNC, and AT&T. Interviews were conducted in February and March 2016 with human resources staff, diversity officers, and program managers.

Social Security: A Key Retirement Income Source for Older Minorities

Social Security is the primary source of retirement income for older minorities with nearly one third of older African-Americans and Hispanics relying on it for more than 90 percent of the income that their families receive.  

People Aged 65 and Older Who Rely on Social Security for 90% of Family Income (in 2013) and Average Monthly Benefit (December,2014) by State

Social Security benefits are a key income source for older Americans. For many, these benefits are the only source of retirement income guaranteed for life.  

Livability Index

How livable is your community?

Guaranteed Returns in Retirement Savings Plans: Are They Worth the Cost?

This report discusses investment guarantees that promise to deliver at least a certain level of return. It also covers both the costs of such guarantees and their potential value to savers.  

Preventing Exploitation: Five Banks Leading the Fight

In an effort to protect consumers and fight exploitation, AARP is spotlighting promising practices of financial institutions around the world.  

Future of Work@50+

Issues related to jobs, unemployment and work opportunity remain at the forefront of concern for many older Americans. The multiyear Future of Work@50+ project highlights where the problem areas lie and offers policy solutions to ensure that older Americans have access to quality job.

Health Security

Rx Price Watch Report: Trends in Retail Prices of Prescription Drugs Widely Used by Older Americans, 2017 Year-End Update

The latest Rx Price Watch report by Leigh Purvis and Dr. Stephen W. Schondelmeyer finds that retail prices for widely used prescription drugs increased by an average of 4.2 percent in 2017. In contrast, the general inflation rate was 2.1 percent over the same period.

Section 1332 State Innovation Waivers: Understanding Federal Law and Guidance 

Section 1332 State Innovation Waivers, named after the section of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that created them, are intended to allow states to implement innovative or alternative strategies to achieve health coverage. This report highlights five key steps that states should take to understand and evaluate the impact of these waivers on older adults.

Telehealth and Medicare: What Is Covered

This fact sheet describes the telehealth-provided services available to Medicare beneficiaries, including both current and new services resulting from recent policy changes.

Rx Price Watch Report: Trends in Retail Prices of Specialty Prescription Drugs Widely Used by Older Americans, 2017 Year-End Update

The latest Rx Price Watch report by Leigh Purvis and Dr. Stephen W. Schondelmeyer finds that retail prices for widely used specialty prescription drugs increased by 7.0 percent between 2016 and 2017.  

The New Medicaid Waivers: Coverage Losses for Beneficiaries, Higher Costs for States

Section 1115 waivers are intended to give states the flexibility to experiment with new ways to administer their Medicaid programs, including innovative coverage strategies. However, emerging waivers that impose work requirements and other harmful obligations on beneficiaries as conditions of Medicaid participation lead to significant numbers of people losing coverage, even as states incur greater costs.

Annual Wellness Visits among Medicare Advantage Enrollees

Trends, Differences by Race and Ethnicity, and Association with Preventive Service Use.

Specialty Drugs in Breast Cancer: Health Care Utilization and Costs in the First Year after Diagnosis

This Spotlight is based on an analysis of administrative claims data from the OptumLabs Data Warehouse. In our sample of Medicare Advantage beneficiaries ages 50 and older with breast cancer, the health care costs in the first year after diagnosis averaged $120,000.

Breaking Through the Noise: The Facts about the Medicaid Program

Medicaid is a lifeline for millions of children, adults with low incomes, individuals with disabilities and older adults who depend on Medicaid for health care services and assistance with long-term services and supports (LTSS) such as eating, bathing, and dressing.

This Fact Sheet highlights several key facts that are important to know about Medicaid and the millions of people who depend on this program to address their daily needs.

Reducing Potential Overuse of Dementia Drugs Could Lead to Considerable Savings

Dementia medications typically provide modest, short-term benefits and therefore are not intended for long-term use. Nevertheless, findings from a new AARP Public Policy Institute (PPI) report indicate that some adults with dementia remained on these drugs for as long as a decade, increasing the potential for adverse health outcomes and  costing nearly $20,000. 

Using Telehealth to Improve Home-Based Care for Older Adults and Family Caregivers

This paper describes the consumer perspective on the value of telehealth and the current policy concerns with this avenue of health care delivery. This consumer perspective is provided by AARP’s Public Policy Institute on behalf of older adults and their family caregivers.

Off-Label Antipsychotic Use in Older Adults with Dementia: Not Just a Nursing Home Problem

This Spotlight is based on an analysis of administrative claims data from the OptumLabs Data Warehouse. In our sample of Medicare Advantage beneficiaries ages 65 and older with dementia living in the community, antipsychotic (AP) use increased by 6% between 2012 and 2015, from 12.6% to 13.4%. 

Medicare Spends More on Socially Isolated Older Adults

Studies have shown that socially isolated older adults are at greater risk for poor health and death than their well-connected counterparts. Now a new study—the first to examine whether social isolation also affects health care spending among older adults—finds that a lack of social contacts among older adults is associated with an estimated $6.7 billion in additional Medicare spending annually. 

Rx Price Watch Report: Trends in Retail Prices of Prescription Drugs Widely Used by Older Americans: 2006 to 2015

The latest Rx Price Watch report by Leigh Purvis and Dr. Stephen W. Schondelmeyer finds that retail prices for widely used prescription drugs increased, on average, between 2006 and 2015. In 2015, retail prices for 768 brand name, generic, and specialty prescription drugs widely used by Medicare beneficiaries increased by an average of 6.4 percent. In contrast, the general inflation rate was 0.1 percent over the same period.

Few Hip Fracture Patients Receive Osteoporosis Care

This spotlight is based on an analysis of insurance claims data from the OptumLabs Data Warehouse. We found that surprisingly few women are evaluated or treated for osteoporosis following hip fractures, and these missed opportunities may leave some patients at increased risk for subsequent fractures. 

Share of the Population 85+, in 2015 and 2050, by State

How many people are age 85-plus in your state, and how much is this population projected to grow? Find out here.

Monitoring The Impact of Health Reform

New data from the Urban Institute and the AARP Public Policy Institute show that insurance coverage for 50- to 64-year-olds has improved significantly under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

Taking a Closer Look at American Indians and Alaska Natives Ages 50 and Older

This report outlines the demographics of this growing cohort and concludes with recommendations for coordinating programmatic resources to better serve it.  

Rx Price Watch Report: Trends in Retail Prices of Brand Name Prescription Drugs Widely Used by Older Americans: 2006 to 2015

The latest Rx Price Watch report by Leigh Purvis and Dr. Stephen Schondelmeyer finds that retail prices for widely used brand name prescription drugs increased substantially faster than general inflation between 2006 and 2015, and that the difference between the rate of brand name drug price increases and the rate of general inflation has been widening.  

Hospital Readmission Rates Falling Among Older Adults Receiving Joint Replacements

Rates of unplanned hospital readmissions following elective hip and knee replacement procedures fell markedly among the 50- to 84-year-old population between 2009 and 2013.

Susan Reinhard is senior vice president and director of AARP Public Policy Institute. Read her latest blogs on family caregiving, healthy living, nursing and more. Read Susan's Blogs

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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

Independent Living/Long-Term Services and Support

Long-Term Services and Supports

In 2018, about 14 million adults of all ages needed long-term services and supports (LTSS). This fact sheet takes a closer look at what LTSS encompass, who needs these services, who provides care and where it’s provided, what paid LTSS cost, and who pays for LTSS.

Emerging Innovations: Mobility Managers

Mobility managers are transportation coordinators for older adults, people with disabilities, veterans, and other members of the riding public. This paper highlights who mobility managers are and what they do—and why they are important now and in the future. It highlights emerging innovations from five case studies.

Across the States 2018: Profiles of Long-Term Services and Supports

Across the States 2018: Profiles of Long-Term Services and Supports is the 10th edition of the AARP Public Policy Institute’s state long-term services and supports (LTSS) reference report. 

How Managed Long-Term Services and Supports is Providing Coordination

Older people and adults with disabilities, particularly those with care needs, can benefit from care coordination. Care coordinators are typically nurses or social workers who can help with tasks such as monitoring chronic health conditions, connecting them to social supports, conducting assessments, and writing plans of care.

State Long-Term Services and Supports Scorecard: How One State Improved

This report presents the findings from a case study of Connecticut. The study was conducted following the release of the 2014 State Long-Term Services and Supports Scorecard to understand factors that lead to improved performance on measures of long-term services and supports (LTSS) for older adults and people with physical disabilities.  

Effective Transitions Between Care Settings

Unnecessary and avoidable care transitions can result in adverse outcomes, especially among older adults and people with multiple chronic conditions.

Family Caregiving

Disrupting the Marketplace: The State of Private Long-Term Care Insurance, 2018 Update

The long-term care insurance (LTCI) industry is undergoing a transformation and is responding to consumer concerns about the high cost and complexity of LTCI by developing alternative products that are more affordable and flexible to meet the coverage needs consumers.  This report includes facts and figures on LTCI and information on the emerging market for short-term care products.

Millennials: The Emerging Generation of Family Caregivers

This report is the first to look comprehensively at Millennials as family caregivers. Millennials comprise about 1 in 4 family caregivers.

Family Caregivers & Managed Long-Term Services and Supports

This is the first major research paper in this emerging field of managed long-term services and supports (LTSS) that addresses family caregivers’ needs. 

“It All Falls on Me”: Family Caregiver Perspectives on Medication Management, Wound Care, and Video Instruction

The AARP Public Policy Institute contracted with the United Hospital Fund to conduct discussion groups as part of a larger initiative known as the Home Alone AllianceSM. This initiative seeks to bring together partners from public, private, and nonprofit sectors to strive for sweeping cultural change in addressing the needs of family caregivers. 

Family Caregiver Video Guide to Managing Medications

Caregiving instructional videos aimed at preparing family caregivers perform a variety of medical/nursing tasks such as managing medications, giving injections, mobility, wound care and preparing special diets.  

The Dual Pressures of Family Caregiving and Employment

Using data from the Caregiving in the U.S. 2015 survey, this Spotlight highlights current information about the impacts of the dual responsibilities of employment and family caregiving.

Valuing the Invaluable 2015 Update: Undeniable Progress, but Big Gaps Remain

Part of the Valuing the Invaluable series on the economic value of family caregiving, this report updates national and individual state estimates of the economic value of family caregiving using the most current data available. In 2013, about 40 million family caregivers in the U.S. provided an estimated 37 billion hours of care to an adult with limitations in daily activities.  

Home Alone: Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care

The role of many family caregivers has dramatically expanded to include performing medical/nursing tasks once provided only in hospitals.  

Livable Communities

Communities Are Embracing Development Near Transit: A Snapshot of Transit-Oriented Development Support across the United States

This report details the ways state, regional, and local actors proactively foster TOD.

Housing Policy Solutions to Support Aging with Options

As the older adult population rapidly increases, the demand will rise for quality, affordable, and accessible housing in close proximity to services and other amenities. Public policy should support a variety of housing options for older adults, including those that allow them the choice to age in their homes and communities while connecting them to supportive services.

Expanding Specialized Transportation: New opportunities under the Affordable Care Act

This paper explains how states can use ACA options to expand services for targeted low-income populations with mobility needs. 


Center to Champion Nursing in America

Transforming the Workforce to Provide Better Chronic Care

This series explores the evolution of primary care systems to better meet the needs of consumers with complex health conditions. It demonstrates that changes in the workforce are required to empower consumers to better manage their health.

Removing Barriers to Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Care: Hospital Privileges

Granting hospital privileges to nurse practitioners and other advanced practice registered nurses reduces costs, increases consumer choice, and improves healthcare quality.

Removing Barriers to Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Care: Home Health and Hospice Services

Allowing nurse practitioners and other advanced practice registered nurses to certify patients for Medicare coverage of home health services would increase access and efficiency.