A finger on the “pulse” of Americans’ financial health

A finger on the “pulse” of Americans’ financial health You can’t change what you don’t measure. But good measurement can be hard to do, especially when it comes to unwieldy concepts like household financial security. After all, does a consumer’s bank account balance, income, credit score, or student loan debt define their financial wellbeing? Even taken together, these bits and pieces of data rarely paint a complete picture of a person’s financial life. Financial health wonks, unite! Fortunately, there is …

Annual Wellness Visits: Usage Rates among Medicare Advantage Enrollees

First in a series of blog posts on annual wellness visits and a new AARP Public Policy Institute study on the topic. Medicare’s annual wellness visit is a preventive health benefit created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. Starting in January 2011, all Medicare beneficiaries with Part B coverage could receive free annual wellness visits 12 months after becoming eligible for Medicare. The purpose of the annual wellness visit, which is not considered a physical examination, …

Not Hitting the Pause Button: CMS Approves Utah’s Work and Work Alternative Requirements after Court Upends Similar Policies in Kentucky and Arkansas

On March 27, a federal court blocked both Arkansas and Kentucky from conditioning Medicaid benefits on work or state-specified work alternative activities.[1] For Kentucky, it was a déjà vu decision: back in June of 2018, the same court blocked the state’s initial attempt to implement a similar policy. We discussed the first Kentucky case in an earlier post. In reaching its latest decisions, the court stressed that imposing work or work alternative requirements on beneficiaries does not serve the primary …

The BankSafe Journey: Leading Innovations in the Fight Against Financial Exploitation

My grandfather spent a lifetime of service, from raising foster children, to sponsoring refugees, to rebuilding post-cold war Germany. A smart and compassionate man, it was in his 90s that my family discovered he was being financially exploited. My uncle, a banker, saw a classic red flag of exploitation: money disappearing from my grandfather’s wallet in the absence of any purchases. He decided to catch the thief using dye packs containing a red ink that explode upon touch. So in …

Unemployment rate down to 3.6 percent in April

  Employment Overview Employment was up again in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) monthly Employment Situation data. The economy added 263,000 jobs, an increase from the 189,000 jobs added in March (revised down from +196,000 jobs). The unemployment rate declined to 3.6 percent for the workforce overall and was down to 2.6 percent for those ages 55 and older. The number of people ages 55+ who were unemployed dipped to under one million. The overall labor …

Nurses a Big Part of AARP? Yes, Because Nurses Are a Big Part of Health

It has been awhile since I’ve been asked why AARP has a center devoted to nursing. Maybe that is because it’s been a part of AARP long enough that by now people know. After all, it has been 12 years since the Center to Champion Nursing in America began its mission to see that people—all people—have access to a nurse when and where they need it. With National Nurses Week on the horizon, it is a good time to reaffirm …