The Alzheimer’s Association’s new report, The Impact of Alzheimer’s Disease on Medicaid Costs: A Growing Burden for States, released on Nov. 4, found that between 2015 and 2025, Medicaid costs for people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias will increase in every state in the U.S. and the District of Columbia. In fact, by 2025, 35 states will see increases in Alzheimer’s Medicaid costs of at least 40% from 2015, including 22 states that will see increases of at least 50%.
In Connecticut, Medicaid spending on people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias will increase 39.6% by 2025. This year, spending will total $821 million, increasing to $1.5 billion in 2025. Approximately 11% of the 2015 Medicaid budget in Connecticut is spent on people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
“Connecticut is the sixth oldest state in the union with an aging population, without a prevention, treatment or cure Alzheimer’s disease will bankrupt the Medicare system by 2050,” states Eleonora Tornatore-Mikesh, President and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter.
Seniors with Alzheimer’s and other dementias rely on Medicaid, which is funded by state and federal governments, at a rate nearly three times greater than other seniors due to the long duration of the disease, the intense personal care needs and the high cost of long-term care services. According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, by the age of 80, 75% of people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias will be admitted to a nursing home, compared with just four percent of the general population.
With the quickly rising Medicaid costs for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, Connecticut needs a comprehensive review of state preparedness to meet the immediate and future care needs of people affected by this devastating disease.
Alzheimer’s is a triple threat, with soaring prevalence, lack of treatment and enormous costs that no one can afford. Barring the development of medical breakthroughs to prevent, stop or slow Alzheimer’s disease, state governments must anticipate the demands of long-term care on their Medicaid budgets.
According to Jennifer Walker, Vice President of Communications and Advocacy for the Alzheimer’s Association Connecticut Chapter, “Our Ambassadors and Advocates have been working tirelessly with our local and federal legislators to bring this issue to the forefront to change the trajectory of this disease, but there is still lots of work to do as we continue to advocate for a consistent and meaningful investment in research from the federal government.” She adds that “At the state level we need to be prepared to meet the needs of those affected by the disease and their families, for most the financial implications of this disease is devastating.”
Congress took a meaningful step toward finding an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Under the Alzheimer’s Accountability Act passed in December 2014, Congress has required the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to submit a professional judgment budget to Congress every fiscal year until 2025 to help guide them in allocating funding for Alzheimer’s research. With a robust plan in place to fight back against Alzheimer’s disease, and annual guidance to Congress, it’s imperative that the federal government fund it.
To read the full report findings, visit alz.org/trajectory.
50 Facts About Alzheimer’s, provided by Bluebird Care: bluebirdcare.ie/2015/09/18/facts-about-alzheimers-world-alzheimers-day/
The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research, to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. Visit alz.org or call 800-272-3900.