— State Legislation Smoke Free Workplaces (SB 63). AARP Alaska supports the right of Alaskans to breathe smoke-free air at work and in public spaces. SB 63 is waiting for a hearing in the House Rules committee. No action necessary at this time. Senior Benefits (HB 236). AARP Alaska supports reauthorization through 2024 of the Senior Benefits program that provides monthly cash assistance to low-income Alaskans over age 65. HB 236 awaits a hearing in the Senate Finance committee. No action …

— by Ken Helander, AARP Alaska Advocacy Director Federal Advocacy On the Federal front, Congress passed its very large budget deal that included a number of items that are important to AARP and health care.  The bill permanently repealed the Medicare therapy caps which will be a big relief to millions of older people who require extensive physical or occupational therapies.  The bill also funds the Community Health Centers for two more years (Alaska depends on these centers for much of …

— Nearly Half of Respondents Also Worry About a Friend or Family Member Feeling Lonely on Valentine’s Day WASHINGTON, DC—A survey released today by AARP Foundation finds that only one gift really matters this year for Valentine’s Day: Making time for others. Sixty-three percent of survey respondents said that spending time with a romantic partner or with friends or family is the most meaningful way to celebrate the holiday. Just 13 percent of those surveyed preferred receiving flowers, candy or other …

— by Ken Helander, AARP Alaska Federal Advocacy AARP has been working hard through the constant stream of Congressional issues that would affect our members.  Of current concern are potential cuts to Medicare services, including placing caps on therapy services (physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy) which could be quickly exceeded by a person with chronic needs or extensive post-surgery rehab.  AARP opposes these caps that could significantly increase a Medicare beneficiary’s out of pocket expenses. State Advocacy AARP Alaska supports SB …

— Bipartisan bill would develop a strategy to support family caregivers WASHINGTON, DC—AARP welcomes passage in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives of the bipartisan Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act (H.R. 3759). The legislation, introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and in the U.S. House by Representatives Gregg Harper (R-MS) and Kathy Castor (D-FL), requires the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop …

—     AARP was founded on the simple premise that no one should have to live in a chicken coop. The shocking discovery of a distinguished former teacher living in poverty inspired our founder to devote the rest of her years to improving the quality of life for all as they age. It all began one Saturday, when Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus received a telephone call from a shop-keeper 30 miles outside of Los Angeles. He had read in the …

— ‘Interview an Advisor’ Guides Process with Questions about Qualifications and Standards    January 3, 2018 WASHINGTON, DC — Investors seeking services from a professional financial advisor will benefit from a free online tool, AARP Interview an Advisorâ„¢, launched today by AARP and the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA). The new resource is designed to take the guesswork and mystery out of the process of interviewing and hiring a financial advisor. It walks the user through a short series of …

— Americans gave over $390 billion to charity in 2016. While government regulators say that most charities are legitimate, there are fundraisers that keep most of the money they raise. As you consider year-end giving, do your research. Check out charities at www.give.org or www.charitynavigator.org to make sure your money is going where it should and not into the pockets of scammers! Report scams to local law enforcement. Contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork for more information on fraud …

— As you head out for last-minute holiday shopping, leave the debit card at home. Consumer protection experts recommend using credit cards to protect against fraud and theft. With credit cards, you are liable for only up to $50 of fraudulent use, and most credit card companies will waive this fee. In the case of a lost or stolen debit card, financial losses to the consumer can be much more significant. Call your bank for details. Be a fraud fighter! If …

— With 38.3 Million Readers, AARP The Magazine is America’s Most-Read Magazine, MRI Data Concludes   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 19, 2017 CONTACT: Paola Torres, AARP, 202-434-2555, ptorres@aarp.org WASHINGTON, DC — AARP reacted today to new survey findings from GfK MRI that AARP The Magazine is officially America’s most-read magazine. AARP The Magazine, AARP’s monthly magazine and flagship publication, continues to serve as a primary source of information and entertainment for people age 50-plus – with a readership of 38.3 million …