Costs of Care

What are the immediate and lifelong costs associated with a brain injury?  This is a common question when faced with an unexpected, financially devastating event like a traumatic brain injury (TBI).  Whether you have just started planning for your retirement and your family's financial security or have been saving for years, the costs of care associated with a brain injury can quickly erode your savings.  So how to you manage these costs? Who do you turn to? 

A brain injury affects more than just what the world sees from looking at you on the outside.  It affects your not just your physical but your cognitive and emotional well-being.  Therefore, the costs of brain injury recovery can move well beyond the medical care alone, though quite costly in and of itself.  Some of the recovery costs associate with a brain injury include:

Medical Costs 

  • Medical bills from the hospital(s) in which you were initially stabilized and treated
  • Costs for the use of medical technologies in order to diagnose and treat the various aspects of a brain injury
  • Cost of the various providers and clinicians who care for you (physicians, nurses, rehabilitative therapists, etc.)
  • Prescription costs
  • Other medical costs not covered by insurance

Loss Of Income

  • Temporary absence from work
  • Having trouble with standard duties when returning to work or having to work in a different capacity where the pay is reduced
  • Only being able to work part time
  • Being permanently disabled and no longer able to work
  • In the case of a child or student, loss of ability to be trained or educated to achieve a productive career
  • Loss of income for the caregiver when taking time away from work or changing jobs to care for the TBI survivor

Mental Health Costs

  • Having to pay for psychological evaluations and therapy to cope with emotional and behavioral changes
  • Dealing with substance abuse issues commonly associated with brain injuries

Physical Therapy Costs

  • Neurological rehabilitation
  • Provider costs for physical therapy sessions
  • Durable medical care costs for specialized wheelchairs, braces and other devices

Long Term Care Costs

  • Costs associated with professional caregivers
  • Fees for daycare or long term care facilities
  • Burden on other family members as sacrifices are made to alternate care giving
  • Draw down of life policies or other means of planned savings in order to pay for extended care

It is estimated the lifetime cost of care for brain injury can range from $85,000 to $3 million depending upon the severity of the injury. While those figures account for the direct impact on you and your family they don't begin to address the impact on our society; such as costs related to loss of productivity and even social service costs.

If you have the means and can plan correctly, you can help offset the costs of a devastating event such as a traumatic brain injury.  Long term care insurance and disability insurance are just two planning vehicles.  Medical insurance, if you have, may cover some costs, but many co-pays and deductibles will still need to be met as well as any additional un-covered costs. Additionally, some public and private benefits may exist for which you may qualify, and if so, they need to be applied for promptly whenever possible in order to gain the maximum amount of assistance that is available. 

Because of the overwhelming and possibly devastating cost of care for brain injury, you and your family need to be informed and alert with the financial costs that accompany a TBI.