People diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia have grown exponentially over the years. Between 2000 and 2017, deaths from Alzheimer’s have increased by 145% and every 65 seconds someone in the United States develops the disease.
As more patients are diagnosed and treated, it also raises the cost of care. It’s expected to cost the nation $290 billion in 2019 and could rise to over $1 trillion by 2050. The costs can be scary, so we ask: how does health insurance cover for these costs? Many of those diagnosed are seniors who utilize Medicare and/or Medicaid, so how do these programs help dementia patients?
Medicare Coverage for Dementia
Medicare can cover some aspects of dementia care, but not all. Medicare does not cover long-term care or prescription drugs, which typically are the largest expenses for Alzheimer’s or dementia. However, the good news is that it can help with early diagnostics which can assist families to plan for future care.
For example, it can help cover Annual Wellness Visits that can evaluate a patient’s cognitive impairment which could diagnose patients sooner than later. Other coverages include:
- Inpatient hospital care
- Up to 100 days in a skilled nursing or rehabilitation facility
- Some doctor’s fees and other medical items
- End-of-life hospice care
Keep in mind that some of the coverages are for certain situations and not necessarily always tied to Alzheimer’s or dementia. If you think you’ll need to rely on Medicare for assistance, you may want to consider MedSupp or Medigap coverage.
Medicaid Coverage for Dementia
Fortunately, Medicaid does cover long-term care like extended stays in hospitals or skilled nursing facilities. If you qualify for Medicaid, then you’re are likely to have some coverage for dementia, but there isn’t a specific list of things that you’ll be covered for. Individual states will run their Medicaid program as they see fit, so to find specific coverage information, you’ll want to contact your state’s Medicaid agency.
Alzheimer’s and dementia can be very costly for the patient and families — make sure you have a plan and find all the options available to assist with the costs.
Medical Disclaimer: By reading this blog, I acknowledge that I am
not creating or entering a clinical or medical relationship with Dr.
DenBoer and SMART Brain Aging. I understand that all materiel included
in this blog is strictly for informational purposes only. The content is
to provide me with information and knowledge and I will not substitute
it for diagnosis, treatment or medical advice. I am aware the author
does not hold a medical degree or license and is simply providing me
additional information on a variety of health topics.