‘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 …

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, …

No, Medicare is Not Going Broke: Understanding the 2018 Medicare Trustees Report

The June 5 release of the Medicare Trustees Report has triggered alarm bell-style media headlines. Dozens of news reports about Medicare’s worsening financial outlook have painted a bleak picture—some bleaker than others, with one boldface headline announcing, “Medicare will go broke three years earlier than expected.” The “go broke” headline was referring to the report’s projection that the trust fund that pays for hospital services, called the Hospital Insurance (or Part A) trust fund, will be depleted in 2026, three …

Even Higher Income-Related Premiums are Bad for Beneficiaries, and Bad for Medicare

The Medicare program requires higher-income individuals to contribute more toward the cost of the program than the general population. When enrolled in Medicare, people with incomes of $85,000 (or $170,000 for couples) pay higher premiums for Medicare Part B (doctors’, other health care professionals’, and outpatient services) and Part D (prescription drugs) coverage, including if they have a Medicare Advantage plan. Over time, the proportion of people with Medicare who pay higher premiums for Medicare Part B and Part D …

Health Provision in New Tax Bill: Higher Premiums and Loss of Health Coverage for Older Adults

Thought the debate over the health law was over? Not quite. Yes, Congress has shifted its focus from health care to tax reform over the past couple months. But health care faces new threats under the latest proposed tax legislation. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act as reported by the Senate Finance Committee on Nov. 16, 2017 includes a new provision that would both reduce health care coverage and increase costs for millions of Americans. Older adults ages 50-64 would …

Nancy LeaMond named Top Lobbyist by ‘The Hill’ newspaper

AARP Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer Nancy LeaMond was recently named a 2017 Top Lobbyist by The Hill.  This year, she is being recognized in the grass roots category, which includes a number of leading power players in the Nations Capital. During her tenure at AARP, LeaMond has led several landmark campaigns, including: Take A Stand, You’ve Earned a Say, Health Action Now and Divided We Fail. LeaMond is a nationally recognized leader in health, retirement security and other issues …