— RALEIGH – As part of an initiative to help curb fraud and identity theft that target older North Carolinians, AARP is pleased to announce a new top volunteer position it is working to fill.  AARP’s Fraud Prevention Impact Leader will work with AARP North Carolina Executive Council members and other volunteers to develop and implement a statewide fraud prevention plan and extend AARP Fraud Watch Network programs and advocacy across the state. Fraud and identity theft continue to be growing …

— North Carolina public policy expert Lisa Diaz Riegel has joined AARP North Carolina as Manager of Advocacy and Communications to help advance the needs of older adults in the state. One of her main goals at AARP is to help prepare policymakers and communities to meet the needs of the state’s rapidly aging population. Riegel, who most recently worked to improve transportation options for people of all ages as Executive Director of BikeWalk North Carolina, understands that addressing the needs …

— By Michelle Crouch Deb Wagner, 65, retired recently and is back on a budget for the first time in years. So when she heard that insurance carriers wanted to raise home policy rates an average of 18.7 percent across the state, she was not happy. “That much of a rate increase is going to have a big impact on people on a fixed income,” said Wagner, who lives in Swannanoa. “I don’t understand how they are justifying this request. We …

— In many states, consumer-focused regulators protect the public interest by making sure utility monopolies charge only rates that are fair and reasonable. Last month the North Carolina Utilities Commission granted large increases to Duke Energy, despite growing outcry from residential customers over rising rates. About 2.5 million Duke Carolinas customers in the Piedmont and parts of Western North Carolina await the Commission’s next decision on Duke’s request to raise rates by 16.7 percent, increase monthly fees, and add a new …

— When retired Air Force officer Sam Wood of Durham learned that the pharmaceutical industry was pushing back on a federal attempt to close the Medicare Part D donut hole, he took action. Like thousands of other AARP advocates, he called his members of Congress urging them to close the coverage gap. Wood manages his heart condition with several prescriptions and is worried about the future affordability of the medications his doctors prescribe.  Thankfully, with your urging, he can rest a …

— RALEIGH — AARP North Carolina delivered about 1,400 petitions today to the North Carolina Utilities Commission from residential ratepayers concerned about the steep rate hike request by Duke Carolinas. The company, which serves 2 million customers in parts of the Piedmont and Western North Carolina, is seeking asking to raise their rates by more than 11 percent As part of the company’s rate request, the Commission is also is deciding if consumers will pay billions of dollars for a nuclear …

— Bowing to pressure from thousands of older adults struggling to pay a range of bills from medicines, water, and groceries, Duke Progress Energy was forced to accept a much lower rate increase than it requested from the North Carolina Utilities Commission.  Late Friday, the Commission rejected Duke’s $20 average increase, cutting it back by $11 per residential customer.  With this decision, Duke Progress customers will pay about $6 per month more for their electricity, and about $3 per month more …

— Thanks to the great work of AARP advocates, the Bipartisan Budget Act signed last week by President Trump, includes several important wins when it comes to controlling our health care costs. Without your help to repeal caps to physical, occupational and speech therapies, seniors would have been forced to pay out of pocket for these services. The Budget Act also includes measures that AARP has long fought for to lower prescription drug costs including: Expediting the closing of the Medicare …

— CHARLOTTE – In January, AARP members from the Piedmont and Western portions of North Carolina spoke out forcefully against Duke Carolinas’ rate hike proposal that will add about $20 a month to your electric bill. At public hearings in Franklin, Greensboro and Charlotte, dozens of AARP members told members of the NC Utilities Commission that the 16.7 percent rate increase and a 50 percent hike in the monthly service charge the company seeks is too much for fixed income older …

— You spoke, they listened… If NC insurers had their way, homeowners and renters would be paying much more for their insurance in 2018.  A little-known proposal by the NC Rate Bureau was quickly moving forward over the holidays that would have increased North Carolina homeowners insurance by an average of 18.7 percent, and renters insurance by 30-40 percent. Legally, the rate increase process is subject to public hearings.  But with little transparency or publicity by the NC Department of Insurance …