Health care costs in the last years of life were significantly higher for people with dementia than for those who died from other diseases, including cancer and heart disease.
Health care costs can rise dramatically as we age—especially for those who develop long-term conditions like heart disease or dementia. In the United States, most medical costs for people over age 65 are covered by Medicare, a federal health insurance program.
But Medicare and other insurers may not cover key expenses, like home care services, medical equipment, and certain nursing home fees. Little has been known about the personal financial toll that end-of-life care can place on people with chronic disorders.
The findings of this research by Dr. Amy S. Kelley of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and her colleagues, provide important insights into the financial burden that families and society may face for end-of-life care for older adults.