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[VIDEO] The Prime Times - April 2016

The Prime Times is back with another dose of health and insurance news from around the world!. This month we look at long term preparedness for Alzheimer's sufferers, employee insurance when adding days to business trips, and the recent vaccine scandal in China.

Posted on Apr 20, 2016 by Travis Jones


The Costs of Alzheimer’s

A report from the U.S. has highlighted the real costs associated with Alzheimer’s disease there. As it turns out, those affected are often unprepared for long-term costs.

Costs associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia in the U.S. this year are estimated to be approximately 236 billion dollars, including payments from the government, private insurance and out-of-pocket costs. This figure is 10 billion dollars higher than the amount spent last year. Globally, the figure is closer to 605 billion dollars; the equivalent of %1 of the world’s GDP.

Despite government subsidies and private insurance coverage, in the U.S. the average Alzheimer’s sufferer spends over ten thousand dollars annually in out-of-pocket expenses related to the disease. And while 30 of people believe that they have insurance that includes coverage for long-term care, in actually only about 3 percent of U.S. adults do. 

Nearly 44 million people worldwide have Alzheimer’s or related dementia, yet only a quarter of the people with the disease have been diagnosed with it.

Wherever they are in the world, the costs of care for Alzheimer’s sufferers are likely a financial burden to them. That’s why ensuring you have insurance coverage that includes long term care is essential. Be sure to check your policy to see if you are covered.


Business Travelers May See Gaps in Insurance Coverage

If you’re an employee who travels for business frequently, do you ever add days onto your trips for leisure activities? If so, are you sure that your companies insurance benefits extend to these extra days? 

A recent study from Collinson Group shed some light on corporate travelers and their habits when it comes to extending their business trips. While nearly 90% of companies are okay with employees adding leisure days to business trips, 31% of employers state that they do not extend their corporate travel risk policies to cover additional days of travel for employees.

The study also found that 72% of business travelers add extra days to their trips, to the tune of 5 extra days annually on average.

While some may feel that there is a moral imperative for corporations to inform traveling employees of risks they will be taking if they add leisure days to a trip, there is no legal requirement to do so.

For this reason, employees need to take action on their own to both confirm whether or not their company provides insurance coverage on these days, and arrange for their own coverage if necessary. 


Vaccine Scandal in China

For those that haven’t heard, our final story this month concerns a recent scandal in China revolving around individuals engaging in distributing vaccines illegally. 

The two women primarily being held responsible were dealing in about 2 million doses of vaccines worth over 570 million yuan. The duo pedaled 25 different vaccines over a period of several years, but their wares, while created by legitimate and licensed manufacturers, were often expired or improperly stored, making them ineffective.

While the world Health Organization has issued a statement that these types of vaccines seldom, if ever, have a toxic effect, this is little consolation to those affected, as they now have to wonder whether they and their families are actually protected from the diseases for which they were vaccinated.

Now, as a result of the scandal, people in China are looking outside of the country for their vaccinations. This has occurred to such an extent that even the Chinese Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong is restricting mainland Chinese from access to its supplies of vaccines.

Hopefully, this incident will tighten regulation of vaccines in China, and future vaccine-related scandals can be avoided. For now though, it seems that the loss of confidence for locally sourced vaccines, among other products, is very real.

That’s it for this edition of the Prime Times. We’ll be back next month with another dose of health and insurance news. Until then, for all your international health insurance needs, be sure to check out!

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