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Life Health > Long-Term Care Planning

Revised Alzheimer's plan says little about insurance

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The new, revised version of the National Alzheimer’s Plan gives little attention to the idea that private insurance could help consumers prepare for the cost of dealing with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

The Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s Research, Care and Services — an official U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) advisory board created by the National Alzheimer’s Project Act of 2011 (NAPA) — is supposed to lead efforts to find ways to prevent or treat dementia by 2025.

The council is also supposed to find ways to improve care for people with dementia and improve support for their caregivers.

When the council developed the first version of the report, which was released a year ago, the private health, disability and long-term care insurance (LTCI) communities played little role in shaping that version through oral testimony at meetings or through written comments, and the private insurance community was even less visible this time around.

In the updated report, the authors note that, “For many, the inability to access health care due to a lack of insurance is a major concern.

The drafters suggest that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will alleviate insecurity about access to health care by eliminating pre-existing condition limitations and expanding access to health insurance.

In another section, about helping families plan for future care needs, officials observe that many Americans believe, incorrectly, that Medicare covers long-term care (LTC) services. 

“Unfortunately, by the time the care is needed, it is difficult to get coverage in the private long-term care insurance market, and options are limited,” the drafters said.

The drafters suggested that someone should do more to educate people to plan ahead for future LTC needs.

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