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Letter: Medigap bill offers lifeline to young dialysis patients

2022-06-22T17:07:53+00:00June 19th, 2022|Categories: Medigap Coverage, Patient Stories in the News|

Dear Editor: Starting dialysis at a young age was hard. I had only recently finished high school, and adjusting to life on dialysis when I was still a teenager was overwhelming. It was even more difficult because I didn’t have reliable access to affordable Medigap coverage for the costs Medicare didn’t pay. Not every state requires Medigap plans to be available to patients under 65, so unless you qualify for disability or another form of coverage, patients are on the hook for what Medicare doesn’t cover. Even when I was able to work before my transplant kidney failed, the premiums [...]

Your Views: Wisconsin kidney patients need financial help

2022-06-22T17:05:04+00:00June 19th, 2022|Categories: Medigap Coverage, Patient Stories in the News|

My life with kidney disease has been one filled with battles. In 2010, I had a double transplant surgery and received a new kidney and liver. Unfortunately, the transplant kidney failed three years ago, and I needed dialysis treatment. These life-saving treatments can be time-consuming, and patients often find themselves unable to work. Working and being on dialysis can be very hard on someone. I’m lucky that I have Medicare covering the majority of the costs and additional insurance paying for what Medicare didn’t before I turned 65. However, many don’t have the benefit of extra insurance picking up where [...]

Letter: Congress should follow NY’s lead on dialysis coverage

2022-06-22T17:00:47+00:00June 18th, 2022|Categories: Medigap Coverage, Patient Stories in the News|

Finding out my kidneys were failing was shocking. During a surgery to remove a portion of one kidney affected by cancer, things took an unexpected turn. Rather than losing a small portion of function in one kidney, I was left with one kidney only functioning at 20 percent. Thanks to an excellent nephrologist, though, I was able to put off starting dialysis for a decade. Since then, two things that have helped a great deal are the flexibility of my home treatments and the access I’ve had to coverage for dialysis. While I received coverage for the portion of treatment [...]

Kidney Patients Struggling to Receive Coverage

2022-06-21T18:13:07+00:00June 12th, 2022|Categories: Medigap Coverage, Patient Stories in the News|

My husband’s journey with kidney disease forever changed my life. Over the past five years, we have seen countless doctors, traveled many miles for medical appointments, and both of us had lifechanging surgeries. At age 39, my husband began dialysis treatments for his failing kidneys, a side effect of his lifelong battle with diabetes. We knew he would eventually need a kidney transplant but needed to get other health matters in order before that would be possible. Finally, my husband was ready for a kidney transplant, and we were fortunate enough that I was a match for him. On October [...]

Congress should OK Medigap expansion

2022-07-08T15:48:02+00:00June 10th, 2022|Categories: Medigap Coverage, Patient Stories in the News|

I have fought an uphill battle with kidney disease for almost half my life. At 24, I started receiving dialysis treatment and three years later received a kidney transplant that kept me off dialysis for about five years. But unfortunately, I needed potent anti-rejection drugs that ultimately gave me cancer and weakened my immune system. Thankfully, I recovered from cancer but ended up back on dialysis, which I still receive. Part of the problem stems from the fact that my treatments haven't always been tailored to what I need, putting a lot of burden on me to research what I [...]

Constituents on Dialysis Need Leader McCarthy’s Help

2022-06-03T17:01:03+00:00May 27th, 2022|Categories: Medigap Coverage, Patient Stories in the News|

Editor, Being diagnosed with kidney disease when I was just 16 turned my life on its head overnight. Kidney failure can cause multiple medical complications. Partial loss of my vision and hearing, more than 17 years of dialysis treatments, infections, an enlarged heart, and eventually a kidney transplant have been just part of the journey. For all of these challenges, though, one hurdle I thankfully didn’t have to face was access to coverage. Since I was so young when I started treatment, my parents’ insurance helped pay for any costs that Medicare didn’t. For other dialysis patients under 65 that [...]

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, Kidney Transplant Patients Need Lawmakers To Help

2022-06-21T18:14:20+00:00May 5th, 2022|Categories: Medigap Coverage, Patient Stories in the News|

Fo­cal seg­men­tal glomeru­loscle­ro­sis (FSGS) caused my kid­neys to fail nearly 30 years ago. Since then, I’ve been on and off dial­y­sis as FSGS and the treat­ments it re­quires have taken their toll on my health and sev­eral trans­plant kid­neys. The treat­ment process and the costs as­so­ci­ated with it have been egre­gious. The high cost of med­ica­tions to keep trans­plant kid­neys healthy makes them fi­nan­cially un­ten­able for many pa­tients, and dial­y­sis comes with a heavy cost, too. That’s with­out fac­tor­ing in the med­ical ex­penses due to the skin can­cer and bone dis­ease caused by the FSGS treat­ments I’ve re­ceived. As­sis­tance from Medicare and Med­ic­aid saved [...]

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 [...]

Elevating Dialysis Patient Voices Bolsters State Advocacy Victories

2022-04-28T14:57:36+00:00April 27th, 2022|Categories: Access to Transplant, Article, Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, Medigap Coverage|

As many 2022 state legislative sessions are winding down or have recently wrapped-up, it is a good time to update DPC members on state legislation important to dialysis patients. The participation of our Patient Ambassadors in DPC’s advocacy efforts has been really beneficial in educating legislators to help them make more-informed decisions on legislation that impacts End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients. Improving access to affordable Medicare Supplemental Insurance (a.k.a., Medigap) plans is a top priority for DPC, and legislation was introduced in multiple states: Arizona, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Maryland, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Arizona, Kentucky, Nebraska, and [...]

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