‘Short-Term’ Health Plans No Longer Short-Term

On August 1, the Trump Administration released a final rule that will allow insurance companies to offer cheaper “short-term limited duration” health plans for longer periods of time. Short-term plans are cheap for a reason. The plans don’t comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), meaning they aren’t required to cover essential benefits and protect people with preexisting conditions, and they don’t have to adhere to community rating standards. Thus, while short-term plans have been available for years and may …

Fewer Jobs Added in July but Labor Force Participation Rates Remain Stable

Employment Overview Total nonfarm payroll grew by 157,000 jobs, down from 248,000 jobs (revised up from 213,000) in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) July Employment Situation Summary. The unemployment rate edged down to 3.9 percent.  Jobs were added in professional and business services, manufacturing, and health care. The labor force participation rate held steady at 62.9 percent and the number of unemployed decreased from 6.6 million in June to 6.3 million in July. The number of …

AARP DataExplorer Updates: Jump in Diabetes Prevalence among Hispanics

Diabetes is on the rise among Americans 50 years and older, and trends among older Hispanics are particularly noteworthy, according to recently released government data that the AARP Public Policy Institute has incorporated into its interactive research and data visualization tool AARP DataExplorer. In June, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the latest wave of diabetes data from the physical examination component of its National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). We combined the laboratory results with survey …

In Sync: Senior Safe Act, BankSafe Fight Financial Exploitation through Training

A new law signed by President Trump on May 24 is designed in part to strengthen protections for older Americans against financial exploitation and abuse. The Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act includes a provision, previously proposed as the Senior Safe Act, that extends immunity from lawsuits to financial institutions and insurance companies when reporting suspected cases of elder financial exploitation. Why is such an immunity important? Employees at these institutions are often the first line of defense …

Social Isolation: Detrimental to Older Adults’ Health and Costly to Medicare

July is Social Isolation Month at AARP. This month, we are calling attention to the millions of older adults across the nation who lack meaningful social contacts with family members, friends or neighbors.  Why the focus on isolation?  Because social isolation is associated with bad health consequences: For example, socially isolated older adults are more likely to have heart disease, infections, depression, and premature cognitive decline. What’s more, it significantly increases the risk of death  among older adults.  In fact, …

Millions of Seniors Rely on SNAP for Food

SNAP—or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—is an essential safety net program for millions of older adults who would otherwise be at risk for hunger and hunger-related health problems. In fact, 22 percent of households receiving SNAP (nearly 4.7 million) have at least one adult age 60 or older. As the U.S. population ages and SNAP faces the prospect of changes that could affect the future of the program, it becomes all the more important to examine the dynamics around this …