— 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!

North Dakota State Capitol

— THE HEADLINE  12/5/2018 Governor Doug Burgum presented his budget for the next biennium to North Dakota legislators on December 5. Here are some of the highlights, prioritizing issues AARP North Dakota will be working on during this session: Gov. Burgum proposes changes in how social services are delivered in the state. He would like to see the current structure of 47 administrative areas changed to 19. He was quick to emphasize that “touch points” would not change, meaning the current …

— AARP North Dakota is looking for volunteers to work with state legislators on issues such as caregiving, health care access, transportation and property taxes. The state legislature reconvenes on Jan. 3, and AARP is seeking volunteers to join its advocacy team. Members will talk with lawmakers about issues critical to residents 50 and older. Ideally, the group will consist of at least one resident from each of the 53 counties in North Dakota, who are prepared to meet with legislators …

— AARP North Dakota and the Red River Rainbow Seniors are co-sponsoring a series of lounge and learns of particular interest to the LGBT community. All three lounge and learns are from 5:30-7 p.m. and will be held at the Delta by Marriott in Fargo. There is no charge to attend, but pre-registration is required. A light meal and refreshments will be provided. These sessions are designed especially for the LGBT population and their loved ones. Anyone interested is welcome to …

— AARP is encouraging Medicare beneficiaries to read their annual Notice of Change and to review their health and prescription drug plan options for 2019 during Medicare Open Enrollment Oct. 15-Dec. 7. The N.D. Insurance Department is conducting Part D open enrollment events in eight North Dakota cities. You can also call 2-1-1 from anywhere in North Dakota now through Nov. 16 for help. After providing your medication information and answering some questions, information on the best three plans will be …

— In a newly released AARP poll, North Dakota voters age 50 and over are united in their concern over health care and personal finance issues. The poll found that health care and Social Security are critically important issues to 50-plus voters as they cast their ballots this fall, and a strong majority (79 percent) believe it is unfair to deny coverage or charge those with pre-existing conditions more for health care. The survey is part of AARP’s “Be the Difference. …

— Welcome to the AARP “Passport to Healthy Living” program. Join us at one or more of these free events in the Bismarck-Mandan area that focus on health and wellness. You’ll have a chance to meet new people, have some fun, enjoy new experiences, and live a more healthy life. Kayaking and Stand-Up Paddleboard Demo 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 10 Harmon Lake Recreation Area, 3244 Harmon Lake Road, Mandan Learn the basics of kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding, including the …

— Medicare contributes $1.3 billion to North Dakota’s economy, equivalent to 12 percent of state and local government spending in the state, according to a new report from AARP. Medicare also covers 116,951 beneficiaries in the state. Older Americans have said Medicare is one of their top issues in the 2018 mid-term elections, and AARP North Dakota is working to encourage voter participation this election season. “Medicare is a major economic engine in our state’s economy, as well as a key …

— 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 …

— AARP is encouraging Medicare beneficiaries to read their annual Notice of Change and to review their health and prescription drug plan options for 2018 during Medicare Open Enrollment October 15 – December 7. Given the trend in high prescription medication prices, consumers are advised to pay close attention to their Medicare Part D drug plan options to help save money. Medicare plans often change their cost-sharing and coverage benefits every year. However, insurers must notify all their enrollees of any …

— The City of Bismarck is the recipient of an AARP grant totaling $12,610 as part of the AARP Community Challenge, aiming to create change and enhance quality of life for people of all ages at the community level. Bismarck is among 89 grants totaling $780,000 awarded to projects across all 50 states and the District of Columbia to make communities more livable for people of all ages. “AARP’s Livable Communities initiative supports the efforts of neighborhoods, towns, cities and rural …