One commenter wants the draft National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease to give more information about long-term care insurance (LTCI), because the product has helped her provide long-term care (LTC) for her parents.
Another commenter says nursing home insurance did little to help him care for his wife.
Those individuals are two of many who have sent their thoughts about the draft plan to the Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care and Services.
The council is trying to improve support for people with dementia and their caregivers, and to energize researchers enough to get them to find effective treatments for the condition by 2025.
During a teleconference the council held last week, one caller noted that the National Institutes of Health devotes about 19% of its budget to cancer research, 9.9% of its budget to HIV research, and less than 2% to Alzheimer’s research.
Another caller urged the council to devote extra resources to studying Alzheimer’s in people with Down syndrome. About half of the people with Down syndrome who live to age 50 have symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and many already show signs of developing the condition at the age of 2, the caller said.
Members of the council spent some time talking about financial support for people with dementia but almost no time talking about private savings, insurance and planning mechanisms.
Up till now, few of the members of the public who have submitted written comments have mentioned insurance.
But Debra Hassinan, an environmental engineer consultant in Tempe, Ariz., has asked why she has not seen “anything planned for costs” in the draft plan.
“Why is long term care not covered by Medicare, health insurance or Veterans Administration?” Hassinan asks. “Memory care is extremely expensive; it is basically round the clock care by skilled staff trained in Alzheimer care.”
Susan Brisendine of San Francisco says availability of private LTCI benefits has been a big help since her parents developed Alzheimer’s disease about 4 years ago. The country also should provide Social Security credit, tax credits and waivers of 401(k) fees for caregivers who leave paid employment to provide care, she says.