— AARP is here to help you take on today – and every day. From sharing practical resources, to holding fun activities and events, AARP is providing opportunities to connect and help build an even stronger North Dakota for all ages to live, work and play. We hope you’ll join us!

— AARP North Dakota will host six retirement-planning education events in August and September in Minot, Bismarck, Grand Forks and Fargo. The “Get to Know Social Security” events will focus on getting the most out of Social Security in retirement. You’ll also have the opportunity to gather more resources on retirement planning and Medicare. The presenter will be from the Social Security Administration. Surveys by AARP and other groups show that many people are unfamiliar with the workings of Social Security, …

— Check out the July AARP North Dakota newsletter. Stories include: Frank Abagnale identity theft presentation in Fargo. Upcoming healthy living program events in Bismarck-Mandan. July 18 Movie Night in Fargo. July 18 Coffee and conversation in New Town. Monthly legislative update calls with Advocacy Director Mike Chaussee. Upcoming driver safety classes around the state. Volunteer Fraud Fighters needed. Scams Cropping Up Around New Medicare Cards. If you’d like to receive the newsletter by mail every month, email your USPS address to …

— An expert witness testified in support of AARP’s concerns about Montana-Dakota Utilities’ proposal to raise natural gas rates during a North Dakota Public Service Commission technical hearing May 30-June 1. MDU is asking for a $3.6 million increase applied to residential customers and general service (large commercial users) customers. AARP formally intervened in this rate case allowing us to testify against the rate proposal during the hearing. AARP raised the following issues with MDU’s proposal: The collection of the increase …

— Starting in April, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin mailing new Medicare cards to all people with Medicare, including 126,000 in North Dakota. Instead of a Social Security number, the new card will have a Medicare number that’s unique to each person with Medicare. The new card will help protect your identity and keep your personal information more secure. Medicare coverage and benefits will stay the same. Medicare will automatically mail new cards at no cost …

— As bitter cold temperatures settle in, most families are turning up their thermostats to stay warm. For some low- and fixed-income households, cranking up the heat is not always an option. The North Dakota Department of Human Services reminds people that help is available through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The federally-funded program pays a portion of home heating costs for qualifying low-income households. Older adults, people with disabilities, and families with children age five and younger …

— Montana-Dakota Utilities has another natural gas rate request proposal that includes a 5.9 percent increase for residential users. The North Dakota Public Service Commission is holding public hearings on the rate increase at 5 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, Oct. 24, and Wednesday, Oct. 25. Prior to the hearing, AARP is providing a briefing for those interested in learning more and how you can voice your opinion to the Public Service Commission. At the conclusion of the briefing we will proceed …

— The recent cold temperatures may have left some low-income North Dakotans with home heating costs that are higher than their budget can handle. The North Dakota Department of Human Services reminds low-income individuals and families and seniors on limited fixed incomes that help is available through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The federally-funded program helps qualifying households pay a portion of their home heating costs, whether its natural gas, electricity, propane, coal, fuel oil, wood or kerosene. …

— As the days and nights get colder, some low-income North Dakotans may find the increase in home heating costs beyond what their budget can handle. The North Dakota Department of Human Services is reminding low-income individuals, families, and seniors that help is available through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Applications are now being accepted at county social service offices in North Dakota. The federally-funded program helps qualifying households in need of assistance pay a portion of their …

— The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program is looking for new volunteers across North Dakota. Volunteers do not need tax preparation experience because they receive comprehensive IRS training on tax forms and software at no cost. Instead, potential volunteers should have computer skills, enjoy meeting people and working with other volunteers, and be able to commit at least four hours a week from February 1-April 15. Schedules are flexible to accommodate winter vacations and other needs. Watch this short video to see …

— In November, the North Dakota Public Service Commission finalized its ruling on a natural gas rate increase requested by Montana-Dakota Utilities. The good news is that consumers will see approximately $1.7 million in savings from what MDU originally proposed because of AARP’s intervention in the rate case. That’s why it’s important to have a consumer voice when utilities propose rate increases. We are also pleased the final ruling includes MDU dropping its proposal for a five-year automatic rate increase. Any …