Long COVID's toll on retirement planning

Americans living with long COVID-19 have not only experienced the health effects related to the condition, but also significant effects to their finances, medical expenses and jobs, CNBC reported Dec. 8.

People with long COVID-19 can experience symptoms that last weeks, months or longer. Some experience waves of symptoms while others have continuous symptoms.

Among both groups, people may experience financial devastation or ruined retirement plans, according to CNBC.   

The CDC estimates long COVID-19 affects 7.7 million to 23 million Americans, which could cost the U.S. economy $3.7 trillion.

Additionally, long COVID-19 patients report more than physical symptoms. Nearly all people with long COVID-19 (98 percent) reported personal or financial challenges directly related to their condition, and 48 percent reported increased medical expenses, according to a recent survey from the Patient Advocate Foundation. The survey, conducted among more than 60 people with long COVID-19 between 2020 and 2022, also found that 36 percent of respondents reported reduced income due to work disruption.

The effects of long COVID-19 also are affecting people's retirement planning, according to CNBC. Sharon Sunders told the news channel she is still coughing after getting COVID-19 nearly three years ago and that, after being laid off from her job in Minneapolis, she and her husband are considering tapping into their retirement savings.

HHS released a report in November on how the healthcare and public sector can best support long COVID-19 patients. Read about the HHS recommendations here


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