Alzheimer's is an epidemic that is driving Medicare costs out of control because the program does not pay for the chronic care that could prevent expensive but avoidable health care crises and excess disabilities.
In 2005, Medicare spent $91 billion on beneficiaries with Alzheimer’s and other dementias and that number is projected to more than double to $189 billion by 2015.
Medicare provides broad coverage of basic benefits including inpatient hospital services, skilled nursing facility (SNF) benefits, home health visits following a hospital or SNF stay and hospice care. In addition, limited coverage for prescription drugs will begin in 2006. Medicare does not cover long-term care services.
In this section, learn more about the issues surrounding Medicare and Alzheimer's disease and about key advocacy efforts to reform the Medicare system.