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Letter: Dialysis debt a burden; Congress must act

2024-04-12T19:20:23+00:00April 2nd, 2024|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Private Insurance Coverage|

We Americans with kidney failure must accept the fact that we will be in medical debt for the rest of our lives. To pay for dialysis treatment, some patients keep working and use private insurance. Others live in states that supplement the other 20%. For me, although I have my husband’s private insurance, we still owe thousands of dollars out-of-pocket. I was a single mom when I started dialysis ten years ago, and money has always been tight. I have not been able to pay much more than the minimum payments on my medical debt. For patients just beginning dialysis, [...]

U.S. Rep. Grothman: Save Wisconsin dialysis patients

2024-03-29T01:09:10+00:00March 17th, 2024|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Private Insurance Coverage|

Kidney failure changed the course of my life. I began dialysis, the exhausting treatment kidney failure patients need to survive, three months pregnant with my son. I received a kidney transplant, which ultimately failed, and I have been on dialysis for a total of nine-and-a-half years. It’s been an arduous journey. Dialysis costs upwards of $100,000 per year, so most patients rely on some combination of Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance and charity. I began dialysis as a young adult, so I needed Medicaid immediately, but many others begin with employer-provided private insurance. As I’ve learned over the course of my [...]

Indiana Passes Affordable Access to Medigap for Under-age 65 Dialysis Patients

2024-03-29T01:09:11+00:00March 15th, 2024|Categories: Article, Medicare Advantage, Medigap Coverage, Promote Financial Security, Protect Patient Care, State Advocacy|

DPC is pleased to announce that the State of Indiana has passed into law SB 215, which provides three affordable Medicare supplemental plans (also known as Medigap) to Medicare enrollees under the age of 65 – including to patients with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). Senator Kyle Walker (R-IN-31) championed SB 215 in the Indiana Senate. Representative David Abbott (R-IN-18), a kidney transplant recipient himself, championed a companion bill in the Indiana House of Representatives. Governor Eric J. Holcomb (R-IN) signed SB 215 into state law on March 11, 2024. We want to recognize DPC Patient Ambassador Arthur Hill, whose compelling [...]

Dialysis Patient Citizens Applauds Passage of Legislation Securing Affordable Treatment for All Dialysis Patients in Indiana

2024-03-29T01:09:11+00:00March 14th, 2024|Categories: Medicare Advantage, Medigap Coverage, News, Press Release, Promote Financial Security, Protect Patient Care, State Advocacy|

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 14, 2024) - Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC), the leading advocacy organization for dialysis patients nationwide, today released the following statement applauding the passage and enactment of SB 215 in Indiana. The law offers three affordable Medicare supplemental plans (also known as Medigap) to Medicare enrollees under the age of 65 – including to patients with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). “We are grateful to see Indiana do right by dialysis patients and provide the patient choice and healthcare coverage that all Hossiers deserve,” said DPC Board President Andrew Conkling. “For decades, under-age 65 ESRD patients have paid [...]

Abilene Reflector-Chronicle: Letter to the Editor

2024-03-29T01:09:11+00:00March 14th, 2024|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Private Insurance Coverage|

Dear Editor, When I served as my grandfather's caregiver during his dialysis treatments, the most frustrating challenge was the difficulty we faced dealing with Medicare. Slow payments and limited access to services were all too common for us, but thankfully we had access to supplemental insurance that helped cover costs. For many dialysis patients, private insurance plays an important role in providing access to care, either as supplemental insurance like my grandfather had, or as a patient's primary insurer in the early days of treatment. For years, patients were able to remain fully covered by private health insurance for 30 [...]

DPC Advocates Make Their Voices Heard!

2024-03-29T01:09:11+00:00February 21st, 2024|Categories: Article, Get Involved, Patient Ambassadors, Patient Stories in the News, Patient's Voice, Private Insurance Coverage, Promote Financial Security, Take Action|

DPC’s patient advocates are working hard to make their voices heard through media outreach, by sharing their stories through op-eds and letters to the editor. Coast to coast, patients are letting their local legislators know about the issues that are important to them, and how their votes in Congress affect their lives. Check out the amazing work of our advocates, and if you’re feeling inspired, we encourage you get involved! Learn to how to become a Patient Ambassador and other ways DPC can help you make your voice heard.

Americans on dialysis need Congress’ help

2024-03-29T01:09:12+00:00February 19th, 2024|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Private Insurance Coverage|

When I began dialysis, I took advantage of Medicare, private insurance and charity funding to pay for my treatment. However, I often speak to other patients who do not have access to supplemental insurance and end up being stuck paying the 20% that Medicare does not cover. Paying out-of-pocket for dialysis is simply impossible for most Americans. For years, Marylanders on dialysis could keep their private insurance for 30 months after their diagnosis, which allows them wider treatment options while adjusting to their new normal. However, a recent Supreme Court decision may allow private insurance companies to single out dialysis [...]

Letters: Dialysis patients need protections

2024-03-29T01:09:12+00:00February 15th, 2024|Categories: Featured Spotlight, Patient Ambassadors, Patient Stories in the News, Private Insurance Coverage, Spotlight|

Dialysis patients often open the mail to find thousands of dollars worth of medical bills they can’t afford. Without the proper insurance, affording dialysis treatment is all but impossible. I began dialysis back in college, so at the time, I took advantage of my mother’s private insurance to cover costs. However, I was kicked off of my mother’s insurance at 26 years old without yet qualifying for Medicare. Suddenly losing private insurance caused significant stress and anxiety in my life, and I know patients who want to quit dialysis because of financial stress. Therefore, I am particularly concerned with a [...]

DPC Recognizes Patients and Dialysis Staff as Part of its 20th Anniversary Celebration

2024-03-29T01:09:12+00:00February 14th, 2024|Categories: Advance Patient Choice, Article, Get Involved, Improve Access to Care, Increase Quality of Care, Patient Ambassadors, Promote Financial Security|

In January, DPC kicked off a year-long 20th Anniversary celebration by recognizing one of our outstanding patient advocates, and thanked dialysis facility staff who go above “the extra mile” to provide exceptional care, even in the face of recent staffing shortages. Gene Blankenship was the recipient of DPC’s inaugural Patient Advocacy Champion Award for his work in advocating for dialysis patients with his elected officials. DPC also awarded its inaugural Dialysis Dynamo awards to Amanda Byrd, AA/CCHT, Alicia Caldwell, RN, CDN, Sean Scearce, PA, and Marcy Stites, RN, for their hard work providing 5-star quality care for an underserved, rural community [...]

Restore hope to dialysis patients

2024-03-29T01:09:12+00:00February 10th, 2024|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Private Insurance Coverage, Spotlight|

Last year, I wrote to you about my journey as a kidney patient after my diagnosis in 2017 and I’m writing to you again to call on Congresswoman Stephanie Bice to protect kidney patients like me. Recently, a ruling the U.S. Supreme Court made weakens protections for dialysis patients by allowing private insurance to lessen coverage and force patients onto Medicare before the traditional 30-month grace period. The problem is Medicare only covers 80% of a dialysis patient’s bill, including mine. Luckily, I’m able to continue working, but I have to fight tooth-and-nail to pay my bills. Although I can [...]

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