— AARP Alaska Joins in Campaign to Help Keep Scammers from Conning Enrollees ANCHORAGE, AK – As the federal government undertakes a major initiative to issue new identification cards to the Medicare beneficiaries in Alaska and nationwide, an AARP survey finds that a majority of those enrollees are at risk of being victimized by fraud schemes designed to capitalize on the card replacement program. In response, AARP Alaska is participating in an education campaign to raise awareness among consumers about Medicare …

—   ‘The Perfect Scam’ Pulls Back the Curtain on America’s Most Shocking Scam Stories; Hosted by Frank Abagnale and Will Johnson WASHINGTON, DC — AARP announces the launch of “The Perfect Scam”, a weekly podcast profiling America’s most shocking consumer scam stories. The show, available starting today, April 6, is co-hosted by Will Johnson, an award-winning producer and veteran podcast host, and AARP Fraud Watch Network Ambassador Frank Abagnale, an FBI fraud consultant whose story was told in a hit book and …

— New Poll Finds 1 in 4 Americans Often Not Prepared to Face Aggressive Scammers AARP Fraud Survey, March 2018 WASHINGTON, DC—As tax time approaches, AARP’s Fraud Watch Network is redoubling its efforts to help taxpayers avoid criminal imposters who aim to defraud them.  The problem is serious, with the Federal Trade Commission reporting that tax fraud ranked second in 2017 in types of identity theft reported, as over 82,000 reports were made last year.  But a new poll from AARP, which surveyed …

— by Ken Helander, AARP Alaska Director of Advocacy khelander@aarp.org   Federal Advocacy AARP is urging Congress to stand up to drug companies who are trying to reopen the Medicare Part D provisions in the bipartisan budget deal recently passed by Congress. The bill shifts additional costs for coverage onto the drug companies. Drug companies are heavily lobbying Congress to reverse this increase and lower their share of the costs. Tell Congress to stand up to big drug companies and lower …

— With life spans lasting longer than ever, too many people are financially unprepared for those additional years. Half of adults 65 and older worry about outliving their savings. To help Alaskans plan for retirement, AARP Alaska is offering a series of financial literacy workshops throughout 2018. Offered at the AARP state office in Anchorage, the brown-bag lunchtime workshops are free and open to the public. On Thursday, March 29, investment adviser and AARP volunteer Alyssa Mitchell will discuss withdrawal strategies …

— 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 …