This form of dementia causes a significant percentage of LTC nursing home claims.
According to an American Association for Long Term Care Insurance report, the leading cause of nursing home claims paid for by this type of coverage is Alzheimer’s disease.
Just over one quarter of LTC insurance claims are the result of the mental illness.
Data from the Alzheimer’s Association has shown that at the moment, there are 5.4 million people in the United States with the condition, and that one out of every eight older Americans has it.
American Association for Long Term Care Insurance executive director, Jesse Slome, stated that “Americans will pay an estimated $200 billion for care received by individuals with Alzheimer’s.” Slome went on to say that “Insurance is increasingly being used to pay for care and Alzheimer’s is the top cause of claims for those in nursing homes. Last year long term care insurers paid out $6.6 billion in claims to over 200,000 Americans.”
The Alzheimer’s Association has also indicated that Medicaid and Medicare are currently paying approximately $140 billion every year for costs associated with the condition, and they anticipate that this amount will grow to reach $1.1 trillion (in today’s dollars) by 2050. The Alzheimer’s Association’s website also highlights a tremendous increase of 500 percent in spending from those two programs.
Long term care insurance will be needed by many as the federal programs are stretched too thin.
According to Slome the rate at which the Medicaid and Medicare programs are spending are “unsustainable”. His association often recommends that individuals look into long term care insurance to individuals and families in order to ensure that they will be covered regardless of the ability of federal and state government programs to pay for expenses that will arise.
This recommendation allows an individual to use long term care insurance to take control over their own future medical needs, as opposed to building a full dependence on programs that could be facing significant struggles in the not too distant future. As Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth highest cause of death among Americans and cannot be cured, the associated costs can be extensive and efforts to protect an individual’s finances are necessary.