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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

April 2020 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.  

The Role of Employer Repayment Programs in Tackling Student Loan Debt

As student loan debt becomes a growing concern across generations, a small but growing number of employers now offer student loan repayment assistance as a key employee benefit. This report examines the different approaches employers have taken, and what they mean for borrowers.

The Thief Who Knows You: The Cost of Elder Exploitation Examined

With a close eye on the all-important question of cost – that is, the cost to victims, financial institutions, and government budgets – AARP BankSafe™’s report defines financial exploitation, summarizes the methodologies and findings of studies that have examined its costs, and sheds light on what we know about both victims and perpetrators.

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Livability Index

How livable is your community?

Health Security

Medicare Financial Outlook: What Do Trust Fund Solvency Projections Mean?

In their 2020 annual report, the Medicare Trustees estimate that in 2026 Medicare’s Hospital Insurance (or Part A) trust fund will become “insolvent”—a term that can be misleading when taken out of context. This report explains what exactly Medicare Trust Fund solvency means, puts the current projections for the trust fund’s financial outlook into perspective, and shows why Medicare is not “going broke” and does not need drastic change.  

The Affordable Care Act and Older Adults

A decade ago the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law. Two new AARP Public Policy Institute fact sheets look at how the ACA has significantly improved coverage for older adults ages 50 to 64 who purchase coverage on their own in the nongroup (individual) health insurance market.

Shaping the Future of Digital Health: Key Themes Emerging from a Series of Roundtables on the Health Data Revolution

Based on a series of 2019 roundtables organized by the AARP Public Policy Institute and National Partnership for Women & Families on the rapidly accelerating use and sharing of health information, this paper summarizes what excites and concerns consumer and family caregiver advocates as well as policy options that should be considered as the field continues to innovate.

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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

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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

Recognition of Family Caregivers in Managed Long-Term Services and Supports

Based on a study of managed long-term services and supports (MLTSS) programs, this report examines provisions in MLTSS contracts that are important for the support of family caregivers. The study comprised the review of 31 MLTSS programs for older adults and adults with physical disabilities in 23 states in 2019.

Fast-tracking Approval for Publicly Funded LTSS: Presumptive Eligibility

Part of the Long-Term Services & Supports State Scorecard Promising Practices, this paper examines Presumptive Eligibility programs in five states -- Michigan, Ohio, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington – comparing key features and making recommendations for effective programs that increase access to Long-Term Services and Supports. 

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.

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Family Caregiving

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. 

Valuing the Invaluable 2019 Update: Charting a Path Forward

Part of a series of papers 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 2017, about 41 million family caregivers in the United States provided an estimated 34 billion hours of care to an adult with limitations in daily activities. The estimated economic value of their unpaid contributions was approximately $470 billion. 

Home Alone Revisied: 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, such as managing  medications, wound care, and giving injections. This report exdamined what family caregivers who perform medical/nursing tasks experience and takes a closer look at specific difficult tasks,such as managing incontinence, pain, and special diets. It also offered greater attention toresources and outcomes as well as family caregiver experiences by gender, generation, and culture. 

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Livable Communities

The Time Has Come: Adopting a Common Data Language to Enhance Mobility

A new data specification enables transportation providers to interoperate and coordinate their services. The result is one-stop shopping and easier travel for older adults and people with disabilities. 

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 transit-oriented development (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.

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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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