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Published: Mar 7th, 2017

Alzheimer's: The Disease that Could Bankrupt Americans

 Alzheimer's: The Disease that Could Bankrupt Americans

Every 66 seconds this year, an American will develop Alzheimer's disease, according to the Alzheimer's Association annual report, just released. By the year 2050, that number is expected to double to one every 33 seconds. A CNN story reports that experts say without additional funding and a breakthrough, Alzheimer's could be the disease that breaks the nation's health care bank. In 2017, for the first time, total costs for caring for those living with Alzheimer's and other dementias hit $259 billion -- over a quarter of a trillion dollars.

Much of the cost is placed on the American family since the cost of long-term custodial care, which is the majority of care required by those who suffer from memory issues, is not covered by health insurance, Medicareand MedicareSupplements. Medicaid, the medical welfare program, will pay for care but you must either be poor to start or exhaust assets by paying for care yourself until you have little or no money left. That program was never intended to pay for long-term care and budget issues make the issue of paying for many Boomers and Generation X’ers while meeting the programs other obligations will be difficult.  

There's more. The Alzheimer’s Association's report adds another startling statistic, the hidden cost of caregiving: In 2016, those who took care of loved ones with dementia provided an "estimated 18.2 billion hours of unpaid assistance, a contribution to the nation valued at $230.1 billion.

Read and see the full story from CNN:

Memory issues are only one of many reasons that impact people as they get older. The financial costs an burdens of aging is tremendous. The impact on family creates emotional and physical issues as well. Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance will pay for the cost of quality caregivers and ease the burdens placed on family members. Despite the facts and the affordability of long-term care insurance, many people decide they won’t get it. For some it is denial. For others, they decide to “wait” until they need it. The problem, you must health qualify to get a plan in place. Premiums are based on not just the benefits you choose but your age and health at the time of application.

Experts suggest adding a LTC policy to your retirement plan in your 40’s or 50’s … well before you retire.