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The AARP Public Policy Institute'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

Monthly Employment Data Digest

The latest monthly digest of employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) examines the findings from the Employment Situation Report. It takes a closer look at employment data for people ages 55 and over, including labor force participation, employment rates, and duration of unemployment.

2022 Social Security Quick Fact Sheets

This set of fact sheets spotlights the importance of Social Security, highlighting the different categories of beneficiaries, their average benefit levels, and the importance of these benefits as a vital source of retirement income and poverty alleviation. Data are also provided outlining Social Security's impact on state economies.

Payroll Deduction Retirement Programs Build Economic Security

Access to an employer-based retirement plan is critical for building financial security later in life, yet nearly half of American employees in the private sector work for an employer that does not offer either a traditional pension or a retirement savings plan. This figure has not changed much in decades, but the growing number of state-facilitated, privately managed retirement savings programs are helping to close this gap. 

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Health Security

Health Care Coverage, Affordability, and Access Among Rural and Urban Adults Ages 50 to 64

This analysis examines rural–urban differences in health care coverage, affordability, and access over time from 2012, two years prior to implementation of the ACA, through 2019, the sixth full year of ACA Marketplace operations.

Resumption of Medicaid Eligibility Reassessments: Over 1 Million Enrollees Ages 50 to 64 Could Lose Their Benefits

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, state Medicaid programs typically reassessed enrollees’ eligibility at least once a year and would disenroll them if they no longer qualified. The pandemic put that practice on hold, leading to record high Medicaid enrollment and record low levels of uninsured Americans.

Medicare Beneficiaries’ Out-of-Pocket Spending for Health Care

This report uses available data to detail actual health care spending by people enrolled in traditional Medicare and shows how large the financial burden of health care is for this group of Medicare beneficiaries based on costs relative to income.

Improving Medicare Advantage Payment Policy While Focusing on Implications for Consumers

This report identifies the key features of the complex Medicare Advantage (MA) payment system that contribute to its higher costs to the Medicare program.

Underused Medicare Savings Programs Can Help Many More Older Adults Afford Health Care

Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) help low-income older adults pay Medicare premiums and other out-of-pocket costs. However, historically, MSP enrollment has been low, despite efforts over the years to increase participation.

Medication Literacy Series: Generic Drugs

This fact sheet reviews some potential barriers that older adults face when accessing generic drugs, the lower-cost versions of brand-name drugs that enter the market after a brand-name drug’s monopoly period ends.

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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

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

Valuing the Invaluable 2023 Update: Strengthening Supports for Family Caregivers

This report pulls from multiple sources to profile who family caregivers are and the challenges they face and includes several first-person accounts of the experience.

CAPABLE: A Model of Empowering Older Adults to Remain Independent

This paper highlights the Community Aging in Place—Advancing Better Living for Elders (CAPABLE) model, designed to keep older adults in the community and to improve their ability to remain independent. 

LTSS Choices: From Ideation to Standard Practice: Scaling Innovations in Long-Term Services and Supports 

Five promising innovations currently in the long-term services and supports (LTSS) system are becoming more commonplace. This paper discusses these innovative programs and the diffusion of innovation, or scaling-up process, underlying them.

LTSS Choices: Increasing Independent Living Choices through Coordinating Affordable Housing and Medicaid: Housing as an Indicator in the 2020 Long-Term Services and Supports State Scorecard

This paper highlights how three states have addressed concerns about housing and services for Medicaid and state-funded LTSS beneficiaries by linking affordable housing properties with LTSS and other supportive services. 

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Family Caregiving

Valuing the Invaluable 2023 Update: Strengthening Supports for Family Caregivers 

Family caregivers fill an essential role in our fractured long-term services and supports (LTSS) system. In 2021, the estimated economic value of family caregivers’ unpaid contributions was approximately $600 billion, based on about 38 million caregivers providing an average of 18 hours of care per week for a total of 36 billion hours of care, at an average value of $16.59 per hour.

Family Caregiver Considerations for the Future of Hospital at Home Programs 

The declaration of the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) accelerated an already burgeoning movement of health care into the home. An increasing number of health care systems are choosing to invest in homebased care in new and innovative ways, and consumers are using these services at unprecedented levels. The Hospital at Home (HaH) model shifts care into the home setting and delivers acute hospital-level care to eligible patients where they live instead of in a hospital. 

Caring Locally for Caregivers: How State and Local Laws Protect Family Caregivers from Discrimination at Work

Workplace discrimination against employees who care for adult family members, called Family Responsibilities Discrimination (FRD) or caregiver discrimination, is an escalating problem that can disadvantage employees and put employers at legal risk. This report details the ways in which state and local laws fill in the gaps left by federal law by prohibiting employment discrimination that occurs because of family caregiving.

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Livable Communities

RideSheet: Rural Transportation Benefits from New Coordination Technology

This report offers a firsthand look at Lake County, Oregon’s experience using a new open-source software product called RideSheet to provide demand-responsive transportation. 

Older Adults, New Mobility, and Automated Vehicles

This report provides a framework for harnessing emerging technology for individual and societal benefits.

Which Older Adults Have Access to America's Most Livable Neighborhoods? An Analysis of AARP's Livability Index

This report combines what the Livability Index tells us about neighborhoods with what the American Community Survey tells us about who lives there. 

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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.  

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