Federal Alzheimer's disease policymakers aren't giving much thought to the idea that private long-term care insurance (LTCI) providers could play a role in helping consumers cope with the condition.
The authors of the new draft National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease mention the role of private LTCI coverage only in passing.
The Obama administration recently announced the National Institutes of Health will increase funding for Alzheimer's research by $50 million. The administration's 2013 budget proposal calls for providing another $80 million for Alzheimer's research.
The "National Plan" project associated with the draft plan is supposed to get $26 million for consumer Alzheimer's disease education, provider education, caregiver support programs, and Alzheimer's disease data collection efforts.
"The vast majority of people do not think about or plan for the long-term services and supports they will need until they experience a disability or AD," the drafters say. "Many Americans incorrectly believe that Medicare will cover most of the costs of these supportive services. Unfortunately, by the time care is needed, it is difficult to get coverage in the private long-term care insurance market, and options are limited.Educating people about their potential need for long-term services and supports and the significant advantages of planning ahead for these services encourages timely preparation. Planning ahead can help ensure that individuals with AD receive care in the setting they prefer and that their dignity is maintained."
Under the "helping families plan" heading, plan drafters suggest that HHS should find out why middle-aged adults fail to plan for long-term care (LTC) needs. The drafters suggest that HHS also should expand LTC awareness efforts.