The least funded major genetic condition by the National Institutes of Health according to Global Down Syndrome Foundation is Down syndrome — being the most frequent chromosomal disorder in the United States. This can cause particular mental and physical trait. Many people are still productive citizens even with Down syndrome, although there is no cure for this condition.
Based on the data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these are occurrences of Down syndrome in the U.S., between the years 1960 and 2007, the life expectancy of people with Down syndrome increased. In comparison, for the year 1960, on average, persons with Down syndrome lived to be about 10 years old. On average in 2007, persons with Down syndrome lived to be about 47 years old.
The average medical care costs were 12 times higher for children with Down syndrome compared to children of the same age without Down syndrome for the age bracket of 0-4 years with private insurance. This is not surprising since extra care should be provided for people with Down syndrome.
People with Down syndrome are significantly vulnerable to certain medical conditions like congenital heart defects, sleep apnea, and Alzheimer’s disease. It is also deemed there is a high risk of having autism, childhood leukemia, celiac disease and seizures.
Proactive on Healthcare
There is Down Syndrome Specialty Clinics Database which provides a list of clinical providers with specialty services available for patients with Down syndrome and was created by NDSS in partnership with its Clinical Advisory Board. The database was created as an information tool and does not act as a referral to any medical service but is a good help wherein you can find the best clinic suited for the needs of the person with Down syndrome.
Families should be reminded that many individuals with Down syndrome acquire multiple doctors and specialists. Depending on other medical condition that a person with Down syndrome may have, it is common for several doctors to be involved in prescribing medications for one individual. The family should be proactive with the management of the medication list since they accompany the member with Down syndrome during check-ups.
The Role of Insurance for People with Down Syndrome
As statistics show the increase of life expectancy of people with Down syndrome, financially wise, their family should invest primarily in the healthcare. Why so? As other medical conditions may arise in the future for people with Down syndrome, their health care benefits must be upfront and taken care of. Nobody can tell in the future on who’s who to handle the needs of the patient as he/she reached the near retirement age.
In the above mentioned medical conditions that a person with Down syndrome may suffer from, the life insurance company may offer vast and detailed option for the family. As early as now, most especially for young children with Down syndrome, options on medications and healthcare can be discussed with the Healthcare Provider.