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Rising Numbers of Alzheimer’s Patients Could Bankrupt Medicare

As Baby Boomers age, they are reaching the peak years for developing Alzheimer’s disease, which is one of the costliest diseases to treat. More than five million people already live with the disease, and with nearly 75 million Baby Boomers just beginning to reach the age at which the disease often develops, the results could be catastrophic. This is especially the case for the Medicare system, whose resources will be increasingly strapped with the costs of treating a disease that will inevitably become even more widespread.

By 2050, some experts estimate that the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease will double, topping ten million people. Along with this dramatic increases comes $1.1 trillion in medical costs. On average, it costs $341,000 to care for an individual with Alzheimer’s in the last five years of his or her life, which is about 57% higher than those individuals who do not suffer from the disease. Medicare pays out health care costs for many of these individuals at a rate that is 23% higher than the costs of individuals on Medicare who do not have the disease. Furthermore, even if with Medicare coverage, individuals can still run up tens of thousands of dollars annually in out-of-pocket health care costs. At this rate, both the Medicare and Medicaid programs will totally collapse if spending on those with Alzheimer’s continues to increase.

Even worse, these figures don’t even take into account the GOP’s proposed health care plan, which would cut taxes on high-income households and the health industry. According to one source, this plan would exhaust the Medicare trust fund in a matter of seven years, thus placing primary responsibility for the costs of care back on the patients and their families. Also, keep in mind that Alzheimer’s is the only one of the top ten causes of death for Americans that there is no mechanism to prevent, slow down, or cure.

Developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia is only one of the many situations that can lead to abuse or neglect by caregivers. If you or a loved one is seriously injured as a result of elder abuse, or your family has suffered the loss of a loved one due to negligence by nursing home or assisted living facility staff, you may be entitled to compensation. This inquiry involves determining which party or entity was at fault for the accident, acted negligently, or otherwise caused the incident that led to your injuries or your loved one’s death. At Boller & Vaughan, our Madison assisted living facility and nursing home elder abuse lawyers can help you with these determinations, and support you through any personal injury or wrongful death claims that you may have. Please contact us today for a free consultation.