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Dementia diagnosis leads to bankruptcy for some families

| Oct 27, 2016 | Medical Debt |

Taking care of an older loved one in North Carolina comes with many challenges. Some conditions require full-time care and that can place a heavy financial burden on the patient’s family. However, for people who have been diagnosed with dementia, the monetary hardships faced by their families may be worse than for those diagnosed with other ailments, leading those people on a potential path to bankruptcy.

According to the Association for Long-Term Care Planning, one study found that families of patients with dementia pay more in out-of-pocket costs than those with other medical ailments. A second study backed this finding up by reporting similar findings. For example, compared to families of cancer patients, families of dementia patients paid roughly $114,000 more out of their pockets for care.

Part of the problem is that many people are uninformed as to what costs will be covered by programs like Medicare. While certain medical costs may be covered, expenses for daily care generally are not. Depending on how long the person lives, those costs could on for many years. In order for every facet of the patient’s daily life to be covered, he or she would have to have a long-term care insurance policy.

The problem with that is that many such policies are cost-prohibitive. U.S. News and World Report notes that only a small number of insurers offer long-term care policies. That, combined with the fact that life expectancy is increasing, means that premiums are sky high and potentially unaffordable for many people.