Report: Medicare, Medicaid costs for treating people with Alzheimer's to more than double by 2030

February 04, 2015

Health costs associated with Alzheimer's disease are projected to skyrocket in the coming decades, a report from the Alzheimer's Association warns. The report projects that as the population ages, Medicare and Medicaid costs for people with Alzheimer's will more than double by 2030 and almost quintuple by 2050, from a level of $153 billion in 2015. The impending cost spike has spurred Congress to advance efforts to finding new treatments. The association praised the $25-million increase in funding for Alzheimer's research in the December spending bill, which brings total funding to $591 million, though that is still short of the group's goal of $2 billion per year. Language included in the spending bill, with backing from both parties, requires the NIH to submit a yearly budget request for Alzheimer's research based on what is required to fund the necessary science, a move that could lead to increased funding. The goal is to have a treatment developed by 2025. The Alzheimer's Association report projects that a treatment that delayed the onset of Alzheimer's by five years would reduce Medicare costs associated with the disease by around 20% in the first ten years. Without a treatment, the report projects that the percentage of the U.S. senior population with Alzheimer's will grow from 11% in 2015 to 16% in 2050, and spending on people with Alzheimer's will increase from 18% of Medicare costs in 2015 to 31% in 2050.