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NH AG joins coalition pushing to expand Medicare coverage for Alzheimer's treatment

New Hampshire Attorney General's office in Concord, N.H.
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The New Hampshire Department of Justice in Concord.

New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella is part of a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general across the country asking for Medicare to cover the costs of treatments for Alzheimer's disease, including newer options.

In their letter to the Biden administration, the attorneys general note that federal rules changed in April 2022, limiting Medicare coverage for certain FDA-approved treatments except for clinical trials or other studies.

"This decision creates a barrier to care for older Americans, especially individuals living in rural and underserved areas that are unlikely to be served by institutions administering clinical trials," they wrote. "It is an enormous physical and financial burden for Medicare beneficiaries to travel to the few research institutions that host the trials."

Jessica Eskeland, senior public policy manager for the local chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, said the lack of Medicare support could leave some patients with up to $20,000 a year in out of pocket costs. She said roughly 26,000 people are living with Alzheimer's in New Hampshire.

"We're finally in a place where there is something we can do," Eskeland said. "The science is there, the treatments are there, and now there's just this arbitrary roadblock being thrown up."

Eskeland said she hopes the letter from Formella and other officials will help remove those roadblocks.

Olivia joins us from WLVR/Lehigh Valley Public Media, where she covered the Easton area in eastern Pennsylvania. She has also reported for WUWM in Milwaukee and WBEZ in Chicago.
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