Alzheimer’s Disease Is Top Long Term Care Insurance Claim

Slightly over one in four nursing home claims paid for by long term care insurance are the result of Alzheimer’s disease according to a report issued today.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association some 5.4 million Americans are living with the disease and one in eight older Americans has the disease.  “Americans will pay an estimated $200 billion for care received by individuals with Alzheimer’s, explains Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.  “Long term care 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.”

Data from the Alzheimer’s Association notes that Medicare and Medicaid pay for about $140 billion of the costs and project that costs are expected to grow to a projected $1.1 trillion in today’s dollars by 2050.  Their website notes the dramatic rise includes a 500 percent increase in combined Medicare and Medicaid spending.

“The rate of spending is unsustainable,” declares Slome.  “We explain to individuals that if they are concerned about the future ability of federal and state government programs to pay for costs, that they need to do some personal planning, including look at long term care insurance as a way to avoid dependence on whatever meager programs will exist at the point in time they need care.”

Alzheimer’s ranks as the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States.  It is the only condition among the top-10 killers that can not be prevented, cured or even slowed.

“Frankly, I believe the future is scary in terms of how a nation will deal with the tens of millions of aging Baby Boomers who will live into their 80s and 90s the age when Alzheimer’s is most likely to occur,” Slome adds.  “Most individuals have not given this any thought let alone done any preparation.  It is the equivalent of failing to arrive at retirement age without a plan in place, you place your future into the hands of others.”

According to the Association’s national cost of care study, one year in a nursing home costs $85,045 for a private room and $76,285 for a semi-private room.  “That’s the cost today but it’s only going to grow each year,” Slome concludes.  “A failure to plan is definitely a plan for failure.”

For additional information on long term care insurance consult with your local long term care insurance specialist or to find one serving your state call the Association at (818) 597-3227 or visit their website  for access to a variety of free online consumer information guides.

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