NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


March 21, 2007

There are now more than 5 million people in the United States living with Alzheimer's disease, a 10 percent increase from 2002, and the number is expected to explode as baby boomers age, according to the Alzheimer's Association.

The effects on health care costs will be staggering, says the Association:

  • Direct and indirect costs of Alzheimer's and other dementia's amount to more than $148 billion annually.
  • 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.
  • Medicaid spending per person equals around $13,207 a year on average per dementia patient, compared to $4,454 a year per patient without dementia.
  • Overall medical costs of those with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias are more than double the amount of those without when one or more other chronic conditions, such as coronary heart disease and diabetes, is present.

Costs associated with unpaid caregivers are also set to rise, says the Association.  The sum is already enormous:

  • In 2005, it is estimated that unpaid caregivers of people with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias provided 8.5 billion hours of care valued at almost $83 billion dollars.
  • More than half of the states in America provide more than a billion dollars in unpaid care each year; the leading states are: California ($8.5 billion), Texas ($5.8 billion), New York ($5.2 billion), Florida ($4.6 billion), Pennsylvania ($3.6 billion).

Source: "Alzheimer's Disease Prevalence Rates Rise to More than Five Million in the United States," Alzheimer's Association, March 20, 2007.


Browse more articles on Health Issues