— A new analysis of the Senate’s proposed health care bill shows that older Nebraskans would be forced to pay much higher premiums or go without health insurance coverage. With the proposed spike in premiums and reduced tax credits, known as the age tax, a 60-year old Nebraskan with a $45,000 annual income could have to pay up to $21,740 in 2020. That’s the second highest amount in the nation for this age and income level after Arizona. The new analysis …

— Nebraska ranks 15th among the states when it comes to meeting the long-term care needs of older residents and people with disabilities, but AARP warns more must be done, at an accelerated pace, to meet changing demographic demands.  Specific areas of concern in Nebraska include support for working caregivers, a shortage of home care workers; spending on home- and community-based services; and a lack of transportation options.  The findings are reported in a comprehensive state-by-state Scorecard from AARP with support …

— Thousands of older Nebraskans qualify for a break on their property taxes but may not know it. AARP Nebraska urges homeowners age 65 plus to take a close look at the state homestead exemption before June 30 to find out if they are eligible for relief. “Property taxes are considered by many retirees in Nebraska to be the most burdensome tax,” said Connie Benjamin, state director of AARP Nebraska. “Over the years, AARP has successfully pushed for changes in the …

— Nebraskans 18 and older say state legislators should strengthen consumer protections from payday lenders, a recent AARP survey found. Nebraska is one of 38 states that allow payday lending. These small, short-term loans typically are due in full on the borrower’s next payday. Borrowers who can’t pay the balance must renew the loan—perhaps repeatedly, incurring additional fees each time. Under current state law, payday lenders can charge as much as 461 percent in interest annually. More than two-thirds of survey …

— This is an AARP Nebraska alert. A severe American Health Care Act watch has been issued for 70 counties in Nebraska. Actions taken by two committees of the U.S. House of Representatives have created conditions that could lead to catastrophic cost increases in an area of Nebraska west of a line from South Sioux City to Superior. All residents ages 40-64 who have individual health insurance in the affected area will receive damaging premium increases.  According to the Kaiser Family …

— Nebraska lawmakers’ repeated refusal to extend Medicaid to uninsured, low-income adults means far fewer state residents have health care coverage compared to their neighbors in Iowa and Colorado. At a March 8 hearing, AARP representative June Ryan told members of the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee that Nebraska’s uninsured rate for the lowest income group is more than twice the rate in those states. “We now know the consequences of Nebraska’s decision not to participate in expanded Medicaid,” said …

— AARP Nebraska today issued the following statement in opposition to L.R. 6, which calls on the Nebraska Legislature to submit a request to Congress calling for a constitutional convention. “LR6 would serve as Nebraska’s application for a convention of states under the authority of Article V of the United States Constitution for proposing constitutional amendments.  While such a convention, according to Article V, “shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes,” a common reason given for seeking a convention is …

— AARP  has launched a comprehensive campaign to protect Medicare in the face of proposals by some in Congress that would hurt hardworking Nebraskans who have paid into the program their entire working lives. Congressional proposals to change Medicare into a voucher system would dramatically increase health care costs and risks for both current and future retirees.  Over the next few weeks, AARP staff and volunteers will meet with members of Congress to underscore that this proposal would put nearly 300,000 …

— By Dave Holmquist, State President, AARP Nebraska At AARP, we believe Medicare is a deal with the American people that must not be broken. Thankfully, President Trump repeatedly said during his historic campaign that he would not allow changes to this popular program.  “I am going to protect and save your Social Security and your Medicare,” he told voters. “You made a deal a long time ago. “ Older voters were instrumental in electing President Trump and the Republican Congress. …

— AARP is urging state lawmakers to conduct a legislative study on how to improve retirement savings prospects for Nebraskans. According to the National Institute on Retirement Security, just 48 percent of private sector employees in Nebraska were enrolled in a retirement plan in 2012, a decline from 55 percent in 2000. State Sen. Carol Blood of Bellevue introduced LB 79, the Small Business Retirement Marketplace Act, to provide small business employees with access to retirement plans. Due to the cost …