The Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act (H.R. 5534, S. 3353) is gaining momentum in Congress. The bill was voted out of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and has over 100 cosponsors in the House and over 20 cosponsors in the Senate. We need you to help us press for passage by contacting your Members of Congress today.
This bill was introduced by Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI) and Michael Burgess (R-TX), as well as Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Dick Durbin (D-IL). This legislation would extend Medicare coverage of immunosuppressive drugs beyond the current limit of 36 months for patients who are unable to obtain health insurance coverage elsewhere. Immunosuppressive medications play a critical role in preventing transplant recipients from rejecting a donor kidney.
Right now, after dialysis patients receive a transplant, if they are under the age of 65 they are only eligible to remain on Medicare for an additional 36 months. After this three-year period, many transplant patients are unable to find affordable health insurance coverage and often times struggle to pay for the anti-rejection medications themselves. As a result, these financial challenges unnecessarily put transplant patients at risk of rejecting a perfectly healthy kidney and starting back on dialysis. Allowing transplant patients to maintain their Medicare coverage for immunosuppressive drugs beyond the current limit will save the government money by keeping patients from losing a successful transplant and starting back on dialysis, not to mention the immeasurable impact on patient care and quality of life.
H.R. 5534/S. 3353 would put an end to the 36-month cap on immunosuppressive drug coverage for transplant patients. Contact your Members of Congress today and ask them to support the Comprehensive Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act of 2019.