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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 [...]

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 [...]

Legislations would provide help for dialysis patients

2022-05-24T14:50:22+00:00September 8th, 2021|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Spotlight|

I’ve lived on dialysis for 22 years, but there was a time when my kidney disease almost took my life. Through dialysis and a failed kidney transplant, though, I’ve done my best to stay upbeat and am excited to get another transplant kidney soon, hopefully. While it’s been a tough road, I’ve at least had the coverage I need to pay for my treatments. A lot of patients I’ve met only have Medicare, which doesn’t always cover their treatments and medications. Instead, they have to pay out-of-pocket costs as high as 20% of the cost of their treatments. Congress can [...]

Letter: Bill can ease costs

2021-11-01T15:26:48+00:00September 8th, 2021|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Spotlight|

Starting dialysis 12 years ago at 28 completely changed my life. I had to begin going to a clinic for the hours-long treatments that dialysis involves, and the treatments, as well as their effects, forced me to end my career as an EMT. It was a difficult adjustment to make, but I’ve at least been fortunate enough to have supplemental insurance coverage through my wife’s work that helps to cover the cost of my treatments. Without that additional coverage, we’d have to find a way to make up for the 20 percent of the cost Medicare doesn’t pay for. Under [...]

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