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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. 

Working Collaboratively with Retailers to Fight Gift Card Fraud

Gift card fraud affects people of all ages, causing the average victim to lose $1,000.Since the start of the pandemic, gift card fraud has rapidly increased, with reported cases more than doubling in frequency.This report offers a look at gift card fraud from various angles before providing an assessment of industry’s role in intervention, both currently and in terms of future opportunities. 

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Health Security

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.

Medicaid Expansion Population and Cost Estimates for Eleven States 

The fact sheets in this series offer data for each of the 11 states that have not yet expanded Medicaid, including the number of people who would be eligible under expansion, their demographic characteristics, what kind of insurance they currently have, the likelihood they would enroll in Medicaid, and the potential cost savings for each state’s budget.

Medication Literacy Series: Prescription Drug Container Labels

Standardized, consumer-centered improvements to the style, organization and content of prescription drug container labels may help consumers manage their medications and, importantly, reduce medication errors.

State Biosimilar Substitution Laws Could Reduce Consumer Access and Savings

Consumers facing high costs for prescription drugs can see substantial savings when they switch from a brand-name drug to a generic equivalent, but this option is not yet widely available for biologic drugs. This fact sheet examines biosimilar substitution laws in each state that may be affecting consumer access.

Influenza, Pneumonia, and Shingles Vaccinations Rise among Older Adults, but Disparities Continue

This Fact Sheet examines the prevalence of influenza, pneumonia, and shingles vaccinations among adults ages 50 and older in 2020. Vaccinations for all three diseases increased from 2019, yet racial and ethnic disparities continue.

Utilization Management for Prescription Drugs Commonly Used by Older Adults: Wide State Variation Among Top Marketplace Plans

This Fact Sheet examines prescription drug utilization management (UM) among the top 10 marketplace plans in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and finds considerable variation among states in UM for prescription drugs commonly used by adults 50 to 64.

Boosting SNAP Participation Among Older Adults to Reduce Food Insecurity

A series of three AARP Public Policy Institute and Mathematica Spotlight reports analyze SNAP participation among older adults and the policies that affect it.

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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

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. 

LTSS Choices: Coordinating Housing, Health and LTSS Through Home-Based Care Management

This report describes and evaluates the SASH (Support and Services at Home) program in Vermont as one model of HBCM programs. Founded in 2009, SASH now partners with 70 organizations, including hospitals, community-based organizations, and academic institutions in sites across the state.

LTSS Choices: Empowered Direct Care Worker: Lessons from the Green House Staffing Model

This paper describes the most widely researched model in the small-house nursing homes category: THE GREEN HOUSE®. Authors discuss how the Green House staffing model improves the quality of work life for staff and promotes positive outcomes for residents and whether any of these tactics can be adopted by nursing homes that are not yet able to change their housing structures.

LTSS Choices: International Review of Experts’ Recommendations for Reforming the Long-Term Services and Supports Workforce

This report describes the LTSS workforce in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), of which the United States is a member country. It reviews the challenges LTSS workers face, summarizes experts’ recommendations for reform, and offers examples from some OECD countries that are innovating to improve the situation for their LTSS workforce.

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Family Caregiving

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.

Managing a Paid Job and Family Caregiving is a Growing Reality

The 2020 Caregiving in the U.S. report revealed an increase of more than 5 million employed family caregivers since 2015. This report takes a deeper look into the Caregiving in the US data at the nearly 30 million Americans who are caring for an ill friend or family member while also working at a paying job. It highlights the impacts and challenges of managing both responsibilities, and it identifies what’s changed since 2015.

Caregiving in the United States 2020

First conducted in 1997 by the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, Caregiving in the U.S. 2020 update presents a portrait of unpaid family caregivers. Family caregivers now encompass more than one in five Americans. The study also reveals that family caregivers are in worse health compared to five years ago. 

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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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