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We applaud the House of Representatives for passing the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act — a bill that would restore some protections wiped out by a 2009 Supreme Court decision. The AARP-backed bill scraps a requirement that older workers prove their age was a “decisive factor” in alleging illegal age-based discrimination against employers.

The bill’s now in the Senate’s hands, where its fate is uncertain. Similar legislation passed the House last year, but former President Donald Trump’s White House opposed it and the bill never received a Senate vote.

Read more about the legislation.
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Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., will join AARP to talk boosters, vaccine misinformation and how to keep yourself and your family safe during the holiday season at our next tele-town hall.

The program will kick off on Nov. 18 at 1 p.m. and includes a live Q&A, when listeners can pose their COVID questions straight to the U.S. Surgeon General.

Join by calling 877-209-3531.
Prescription
As discussions on Capitol Hill heat up around what to include in a huge new budget bill, AARP chief advocacy and engagement officer Nancy LeaMond on Thursday sent lawmakers a list of provisions that would “improve the health and financial security of all older Americans.” Her letter to the House Ways and Means Committee calls for:

  • Lowering prescription drug prices
  • Expanding Medicare coverage to include dental, hearing and vision
  • A tax credit for family caregivers
  • Expanding paid family leave
  • New nursing home staffing requirements and stronger regulations
The budget bill is being marked up by various House committees and has yet to go to the floor for a full vote. 

Read LeaMond’s full letter to lawmakers.
401K plan
New York on Thursday became the latest state to expand retirement savings options for workers. Gov. Kathy Hochul signed an AARP-supported bill requiring a business with 10 or more workers to enroll those employees in a state-backed savings plan if it doesn’t already offer a private retirement plan.

Workers can opt out of the state-supported “work and save” plan, but they’ll be automatically enrolled otherwise. AARP is pushing other states to adopt such plans, with research showing that people are significantly more likely to save for retirement if their employer provides a plan. Fourteen states now offer work and save plans. AARP New York estimates more than 3.5 million New Yorkers between ages 18 and 64 don’t have a retirement savings plan available through work.

The bill was approved by the state Senate in June but had remained in limbo following the resignation of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
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Current Medicare customers have until Dec. 7 to compare their plan with others and switch their coverage during 2021 open enrollment. Beneficiaries can switch between Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans or choose a different Medicare Part D drug plan.

Medicare Part B monthly premiums — which cover doctor visits, lab tests and screenings — will increase next year, while Medicare Advantage premiums are expected to drop

Read our full guide to 2021 Medicare open enrollment.
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It’s that time of year again.  We’re offering help preparing your tax return at in-person sites and virtual appointments, through AARP Foundation’s Tax-Aide program. Use our Tax-Aide Locator to connect with an IRS-certified volunteer near you between Feb. 12 and April 15. Our volunteers can help prepare federal and state tax returns — you don’t have to be a member and there are no age requirements.

Learn more about the program.
retirement plan
Nearly a quarter of Americans put saving for retirement on hold during the pandemic and stopped contributing to — or prematurely dipped into — their retirement accounts, according to a troubling new AARP Research study. More than half  of the more than 5,400 adults surveyed said a lack of money has stopped them from contributing more to their retirement accounts, with 44 percent citing debt payments as a major hurdle to saving.

Research shows the economic upheaval created by COVID-19 has disproportionately weighed on older Americans, forcing many to retire early or chip away at their savings.

Learn more about the study.
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Winston-Salem has a new place to work out, make friends and spend time outdoors, as we unveil our latest fitness park in partnership with the nonprofit FitLot. The park has enough equipment for 22 different kinds of exercises.

The new space will offer free classes and is ADA compliant and wheelchair accessible. “It’s not just about putting in the new pieces of equipment,” says AARP North Carolina Associate State Director Mark Hensley. “It’s about continuing to build the Miller Park community around it, an important aspect of making this area a better place to work and live.”

AARP’s partnership with FitLot started in 2019, when we set a goal of bringing new fitness parks to all 50 states, plus Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Washington, D.C., by the end of 2022. Find an AARP-sponsored park near you.
Health insurance
The clock is ticking for Idaho residents to get health insurance through the state exchange, Your Health Idaho. Those who need coverage or who want to take advantage of new premium tax credits have until Dec. 15 to sign up. Once open enrollment closes, you’ll need to have a qualifying life event like a marriage, move or job loss to qualify.

The average American with a marketplace plan can save $50 per month with the new federal assistance, the government says. Read our guide to signing up for American Care Act health insurance in Idaho.