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Coverage | Out-of-Pocket | Indirect Costs

Indirect Costs to Caregivers and to Patients

The 1999 MetLife Juggling Act Study was an in-depth analysis of the 22.4 million families providing care for elderly relatives and friends. It found that:

  • On average, an individual caregiver loses $659,000 in wages and Social Security and pension contributions because he or she takes time off or stops working. Over a lifetime, this adds up to $566,500 in wages, $67,000 in retirement contributions, and $25,000 in social security benefits.
  • 29% passed up opportunities for training, promotions, and "plum" assignments.
  • 25% gave up transfers or relocation.
  • 22% said they could not acquire new job skills.
  • On average, each caregiver spent $19,500 over a lifetime in food, transportation, assistance with rents and mortgages, and the cost of home care assistance.
  • Businesses lose between $11 and $29 billion annually due to decreased productivity among caregivers.

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