Advocating for Connecticut

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Advocating for Connecticut

By Nora Duncan

A record number of Connecticut voters went to the polls this past November to cast a ballot for the candidates they believed would best lead our state into the future. The state and federal legislators we elected have taken office and started their work addressing the issues that impact all of us.

AARP Connecticut is on the frontline to protect vulnerable populations and critical safety net programs residents depend on to maintain independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable for them and Connecticut. Vital issues such as Social Security, family caregiving services and supports, financial security, protection against unfair utility rate increases, safe driving programs, how to guard against fraud and many more.

Financial Security

The rollout of the Connecticut Retirement Security Program, created by legislation in 2016 but has yet to be fully implemented, is an important program that will help more than 600,000 Connecticut workers of all ages without a workplace savings option grow their retirement through an automatic payroll deduction. Research shows employees are 15 times more likely to save if they have access to automatic payroll deduction and, according to a 2018 AARP Research poll, 77 percent of respondents feel it’s important for elected officials to work to implement the Connecticut Retirement Security Program.

Telecom

All consumers should have access to affordable, reliable, high-quality, essential telecommunications services in their residences. It is vital to support projects that provide high-speed connectivity to underserved populations: those who face financial or physical impediments, such as older people and individuals with disabilities or low incomes, enabling them to gain access to promising tele-health, personal-health and independent-living technologies.

Fair & Affordable Utilities

As the industry evolves, AARP Connecticut is committed to ensuring the delivery and pricing of energy is fair and sustainable for older residents and those with fixed incomes. Connecticut residents deserve strong consumer protections from the unscrupulous practices of the bad actors in the state’s deregulated electrical markets.

Caregiving

Nearly 500,000 Connecticut residents provide 427 million hours of care for family members and other loved ones each year – that is unpaid care valued at more than $5.9 billion annually. Caregivers are the backbone of our healthcare system and AARP Connecticut supports policies and programs that help them in their important roles, including paid family and medical leave and respite care.

Healthcare Access

AARP Connecticut supports policies and programs that ensure adequate, affordable and accessible healthcare, such as working with organizations to preserve funding for the Medicare Savings Program. The program helps eligible Medicare enrollees pay for their Medicare Part B premiums, which covers necessary medical services as well as preventive care like annual checkups and cancer screenings.

Home & Community-Based Services
AARP Connecticut works to ensure services for older adults and people with disabilities support independence, promote quality of life and consider the wishes of recipients and their loved ones. These vital programs include: the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders, which offers alternatives to nursing home placement and helps residents receive services they need to live at home; the Money Follows the Person program, which allows certain Medicaid-eligible individuals to transition from an institution into less restrictive home or community-based settings; and Community First Choice, which funds services such as personal care attendants and home-delivered meals that help people live in the community. These programs are good for the people who use them and help the state by providing more affordable alternatives to nursing homes and other forms of institutional care. AARP Connecticut is committed to making sure Medicaid provides adequate and affordable long-term services and supports to meet the needs of older residents and people with disabilities, assists family caregivers in caring for their loved ones and covers home and community-based services.

We believe it is important to give everyone a voice and provide information that is relevant to them. We want to be a part of your community and welcome any suggestions, feedback and invitations to participate in organized events we may not be aware of quite yet.

If you are interested in bringing free AARP programs to your community, or are interested in becoming an AARP volunteer, please contact us. We can also be reached via email in Spanish or English.

Nora Duncan is the state director for AARP Connecticut.

 

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February 6, 2019

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