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Dialysis patients counting on Congress

2022-09-20T19:50:15+00:00August 8th, 2022|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Private Insurance Coverage, Spotlight|

It’s quite the experience being a kidney patient on dialysis. There’s always new information to monitor and communication to track between various medical providers, dialysis centers, and health insurance entities. It’s important for patients to educate themselves on kidney disease to best serve themselves and others who are on dialysis. One area of dialysis that can be hard to navigate is health care coverage. As both a dialysis patient and transplant recipient, I’ve been fortunate to have both employer-sponsored insurance and coverage through the Department of Veterans Affairs. It’s essential that dialysis patients can remain on employer-sponsored insurance for 30 [...]

Medigap bill can help kidney patients

2022-10-27T15:42:11+00:00August 7th, 2022|Categories: Featured Spotlight, Medigap Coverage, Patient Stories in the News, Spotlight|

When I started helping my dad after his kidney disease diagnosis, I thought it would be straightforward, taking him to the dialysis clinic and just generally caring for him. As I started learning more about the challenges kidney patients face, though, I remember looking around at all of the younger patients at his dialysis clinic and asking myself, “How on earth are they paying for this?” The answer for too many is that they can’t. In many states, Medicare only covers up to 80% of dialysis treatment, and Medigap plans to cover the remaining expense aren't accessible to patients under [...]

LETTER: Making a difference for kidney patients

2022-09-20T19:50:57+00:00July 1st, 2022|Categories: Medigap Coverage, Patient Stories in the News, Spotlight|

DEAR EDITOR: I recently participated in my second advocacy day meetings as part of Dialysis Patient Citizens, and am still overjoyed with the discussions I had with several of our distinguished members of Congress and their staff. I spoke briefly about how my own experience as a dialysis patient took away so much of my independence, and what so many patients have to deal with daily just to stay healthy, on top of appointments and unforeseen hospitalizations. These can seriously affect patients, especially when dealing with hospital bills that can turn into massive debts. For many dialysis patients, Medicare is [...]

DPC Hosts Successful 2022 Congressional Advocacy Day

2022-05-24T18:57:59+00:00May 13th, 2022|Categories: Advance Patient Choice, Get Involved, Improve Access to Care, Medigap Coverage, Patient's Voice, Promote Financial Security|

On Thursday, May 12th, DPC hosted its’ annual Advocacy Day when we connect patients, family members, and Partners in Care with their Members of Congress so they can tell their story with dialysis and advocate for legislative priorities that would help them. Once again, out of an abundance of caution, our advocacy day was virtual, but we were still able to have wonderful participation. This year we had 113 participants who participated in 113 meetings and represented 29 states. They talked with their Congressional offices about The Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act which would give all ESRD patients access to [...]

Dialysis patients under 65 face major cost hurdle

2022-05-24T14:57:15+00:00May 3rd, 2022|Categories: Patient Ambassadors, Patient Stories in the News, Spotlight|

Starting dialysis felt like being swooped into a cage with no warning. At the height of quarantine during the COVID-19 pandemic, I found out the chemotherapy treatments for my breast cancer had contributed to my kidneys failing and I needed to start on dialysis immediately. The next two weeks were a lonely and frightening experience, and I wouldn’t have survived without my medical team’s quick work and my family’s support. After those initial two weeks in the hospital, I spent three months going through four-hour dialysis treatments three times each week. Something that didn’t pose as big an issue for [...]

Support S 2194

2022-07-08T18:33:17+00:00March 28th, 2022|Categories: Patient Ambassadors, Patient Stories in the News, Spotlight|

March 28, 2022 The Honorable Joshua Miller, Chair The Honorable Bridgett G. Valverde, Vice Chair The Honorable Valarie J. Lawson, Secretary Members, Senate Health and Human Services Committee Rhode Island General Assembly RE: Support S 2194 Dear Chair Miller, Vice Chair Valverde, Secretary Lawson, Members of the Committee: As a kidney dialysis patient residing in Woonsocket, a volunteer Patient Ambassador of Dialysis Patient Citizens and on behalf of the more than 1,800(i) fellow Rhode Island residents with End State Renal Disease (ESRD), I write to ask your support of S 2194, which will provide access to fair and equitable Medicare [...]

HB 430 – Letter of Support

2022-03-08T15:54:59+00:00February 28th, 2022|Categories: Patient Ambassadors, Patient Stories in the News, Spotlight|

February 28, 2022 The Honorable Bart Rowland, Chair The Honorable Derek Lewis, Vice Chair House Banking & Insurance Committee Kentucky General Assembly 700 Capitol Avenue Frankfort, KY 40601 RE: HB 430 - SUPPORT Dear Chair Rowland, Vice Chair Lewis and Members of the Committee: My name is James O. “Hap” Strunk. I am a resident of Whitley City, serve as Chairman of the Kentucky Board of Embalmers & Funeral Directors, and also one of the more than 9,000 (i) Kentuckians with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). From my volunteer role as a Patient Ambassador for Dialysis Patient Citizens, I write [...]

Cover the Medigap

2022-10-27T15:42:04+00:00October 21st, 2021|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Spotlight|

As a dialysis patient, one-time kidney transplant recipient, and a dialysis tech of 12 years, I’ve seen kidney care from just about every angle. I was fortunate to have insurance through my job which meant I didn’t have to deal with the out-of-pocket costs and hassle that sometimes come with Medicare, but that’s not true for everyone. Instead, they rely only on Medicare, and if it doesn’t cover certain costs, they can get stuck with a huge bill. Lawmakers can help change that by passing bills like the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act, which would open Medigap coverage to [...]

Dialysis patients need support from lawmakers

2022-02-04T18:00:29+00:00October 8th, 2021|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Spotlight|

Dear Editor:   This December marks three years in my battle with kidney disease. My kidney failure diagnosis was hard to pin down, and without my husband, I am not sure I would still be here. My diagnosis came with a lot of things you’d expect: many hours spent in doctors’ offices and at dialysis treatment centers. What I didn’t know is that this diagnosis would also eventually put me in the hospital, with medical bills racking up the entire time  Of course, dialysis alone is expensive, especially when patients must pay for any costs that Medicare doesn’t cover. And, for many dialysis [...]

DPC Advocates Take Congress by Web Storm

2021-09-30T16:44:14+00:00September 21st, 2021|Categories: Article, Care Coordination, Get Involved, Improve Access to Care, Medigap Coverage, News, Patient Ambassadors, Policy Issues, Promote Financial Security, State Advocacy|

DPC held its annual Congressional Advocacy Day on September 21st, which was another great success! More than a hundred and fifty DPC Patient Ambassadors, Board members, staff and dialysis partners participated in nearly 200 Congressional meetings throughout the day to lobby on two important federal bills that would provide greater financial security and improve the quality of life for dialysis patients: The Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act (H.R. 1676) would expand guaranteed issue rights to Medicare supplemental health insurance policies, known as Medigap, to all End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients under age 65 in every state. Access to [...]

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