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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Medigap Bill A Welcome Change for Mississippi Dialysis Patients

2022-06-30T12:20:11+00:00June 27th, 2022|Categories: Featured Spotlight, Patient Ambassadors, Patient Stories in the News, Spotlight|

Kristal pictured with her husband, Ernest Higgins. Photo by Cameron B. Potts My kidney transplant failing in 2017 changed my life. I went back on dialysis for the first time since 2012 and was spending more time in the hospital than I had before. Then, I lost my job and the insurance coverage it provided, and I had to go back on Medicare, which didn’t cover the whole cost of dialysis and forced me to pay up to 20 percent of the cost of my treatments. I’m not alone, either. Dialysis patients all over the country struggle to [...]

Aid dialysis patients

2022-06-21T18:59:06+00:00June 20th, 2022|Categories: Medigap Coverage, Patient Stories in the News|

Families have a lot in common, and something mine shares is kidney disease. Both my late mother and I who have suffered from this have had to receive life-saving dialysis treatments that allowed our bodies to continue to function. At the beginning of my dialysis journey, I had insurance through my employer, which covered the costs of these pricey treatments. However, they took up most of my time and energy, and I inevitably had to leave my job. Being unable to work full-time is a persistent problem for patients on dialysis. Because of this, I now live on disability and [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Guest: National Kidney Month provides reminder of cost hurdles for dialysis patients

2022-06-01T21:08:23+00:00March 30th, 2022|Categories: Medigap Coverage, Patient Stories in the News|

The month of March marks National Kidney Month in the U.S., an opportunity to bring awareness to something that affects more than one in seven adults, and a chance to reflect on the struggles kidney patients across the U.S. face every day. Currently, kidney patients face an uneven playing field, and a lot still needs to be accomplished in order to ensure that all patients have access to the care they need. It’s an unlevel field that I’ve been operating on for most of my life. I was born with only one functioning kidney, meaning I knew early on that I [...]

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