Julianne Moore won an Oscar at this year’s Academy Awards for best actress in the film Still Alice. Why should you care about this? The movie tells the story of a Columbia University linguistics professor who gets the terrible diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Along with her husband and three children, Alice Howland (Moore) struggles with the cruel disease as she fades from her former sharp, intelligent and highly productive self to an easily confused, breakable shadow of her past self.
The movie shows the struggle of Alice and her family as they try to balance her care with their daily lives. Although the movie touches very briefly on some financial struggles (Alice’s husband, John (Alec Baldwin) must move for his job), it lacks the kind of thickness that goes along with financial implications of a disease like this. Alzheimer’s disease is the number one reason for needing long term care and as the movie depicts, requires just about around-the-clock care. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the average life expectancy after diagnosis is eight to ten years. With the national average cost of care at $87,600 per year, that’s $700,800 – $876,000 on average to care for someone with this terrible disease. If you don’t have a plan for this, you and your family could be facing some pretty significant financial hardships.
This is not meant to scare you, it is to urge you to prepare for the future. Most people apply for long term care insurance to cover care for 3-5 years, however, if your family has a history of Alzheimer’s or other cognitive issues, you may want to apply for longer coverage, and early!
More and more carriers are looking at family history during the underwriting process for long term care insurance, so it is important to speak to a professional who specializes in long term care insurance. Check out the estimated cost of long term care insurance and speak to one of our specialists today.
LTC Consumer is an independent, free online service to help consumers understand what long term care insurance is, how it works, and how to evaluate coverage options. Our mission is to provide an educational, no-pressure resource for learning about long term care planning, with the opportunity to speak with specialists who can help them.