Addressing Disparities in Diabetes Prevalence Among Older Adults

Did you know? Diabetes rates are significantly higher among Americans age 65 and older than in any other age group. Nearly a quarter (23 percent) of Americans 65 and older reported having diagnosed diabetes in 2015, according to a recent AARP Public Policy Institute analysis. Diabetes, a chronic condition in which the body is unable to produce or use insulin efficiently, leads to higher-than-normal blood sugar levels and is associated with higher risk for obesity and cardiovascular disease. Long-term complications …

Protecting Affordable Health Insurance Premiums for Older Adults

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) established a 3-to-1 limit on age rating of health insurance premiums, meaning that older adults who purchase coverage on their own cannot be charged more than three times the amount a younger person is charged for the same health plan. This important provision protects consumers by limiting the amount health insurance companies can charge people based on their age. Recently, some have called for weakening or eliminating the ACA’s limit on age rating, which would …

Closing the ‘Doughnut Hole’ Has Protected Millions of Medicare Beneficiaries From High Drug Costs

Since 2006, Medicare beneficiaries have had access to outpatient prescription drug coverage through Medicare Part D. The standard benefit under Part D includes an annual deductible, an initial coverage period when enrollees pay 25 percent of their drug costs, and catastrophic coverage that limits enrollees’ spending to roughly 5 percent of their drug costs. One of the more striking characteristics of the Medicare Part D benefit is its “doughnut hole,” or coverage gap, where enrollees are required to pay the full …

The Ban on Preexisting Condition Exclusions Helps Older Adults

Most Americans get their health insurance through their employer or through government-sponsored programs like Medicare or Medicaid. People who do not have access to those forms of coverage — for instance, because they are between jobs or are self-employed — typically buy health insurance directly from private insurers on the individual market. Since 2014, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has provided a critical protection for individuals who seek insurance in this market: It bans insurance companies from considering people’s health …

Nursing Facility Transitions: A Cornerstone for Balancing Long-Term Services and Supports

When Abbie was first admitted to a nursing facility in Henderson, Nev., in December 2012, she was told she would probably be there for the rest of her life. For Abbie, who was 76 at the time, that was not an option. “That place was not my cup of tea,” she said. “I didn’t belong there.” About 1.5 million Americans currently live in a nursing facility. Like Abbie, whose story was told first by Nevada’s Money Follows the Person (MFP) …

New Small-Business Data: Strong Showing From 55+ Entrepreneurs

There’s good news for both observers of small-business trends and those interested in aging issues. Tracking entrepreneurship just got easier, and new data show that entrepreneurs age 55-plus are job creators. Small businesses play a major role in the U.S. economy. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses accounted for 63 percent of net new jobs over the past two decades. Approximately 20 percent of those businesses were classified as employers, meaning they had paid employees. New survey …