Local View: Bridging the Medigap

2023-07-26T20:59:13+00:00July 18th, 2023|Categories: Medigap Coverage, Patient Stories in the News, Private Insurance Coverage|

Published in the Lincoln Journal Star We hear endless stories in the news about challenges in our health care system, but oftentimes the effects feel abstract. As someone who has dedicated their career to improving the medical care and outcomes of patients with kidney disease through transplantation, I’ve seen firsthand how devastating kidney failure can be, particularly for Nebraskans who don’t have adequate health coverage. While the situation is grave, our neighboring states have shown how state governments can provide life-saving relief. We would be wise to follow their lead. More than 3,000 Cornhuskers are living with kidney failure, and [...]

Nebraska resident rallies for LB-32

2023-06-22T17:55:59+00:00June 21st, 2023|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Private Insurance Coverage|

NEBRASKA -- Fifteen states do not require insurers to offer Medigap policies to people under 65 who are already enrolled through Medicare according to AARP. Medigap helps patients to afford deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs with policies such as Medicare Part B. However, Nebraska is one of those states that doesn't require it to be offered, to the shock of one North Platte resident named Jean Kay battling multiple sclerosis. "It was mind-boggling," said Kay. Jean Kay has been living with MS for over 20 years. Back in 2018, she was denied supplemental insurance due to her age of 61, [...]

New bill offers hope for Nebraskans with kidney disease struggling to afford coverage

2023-08-28T17:56:40+00:00May 10th, 2023|Categories: Featured Spotlight, Medigap Coverage, Patient Stories in the News, Spotlight|

We are in a critical moment for health care in Nebraska. According to the Nebraska Hospital Association, health care costs are on the rise and likely to stay high, in part due to inflation affecting hospital equipment, labor shortages and other factors. As these costs rise, hospitals are overflowing with patients despite falling numbers of COVID-19 cases. These pressures add up to create a concerning outlook for both health care providers and patients across Nebraska. This is especially true for those patients who were already struggling even before rising costs and limited space came to the forefront. Dialysis patients are at a distinct [...]

Local View: Time to close the Medigap

2023-05-15T03:06:51+00:00May 10th, 2023|Categories: Medigap Coverage, Patient Stories in the News|

Oct. 10, 2018 marked the start of an incredibly difficult period for my family. That was the day my husband Steve left our home in North Platte to move to North Dakota – more than 10 hours away – just so we could pay for the medical care I needed to fight multiple sclerosis. I was diagnosed with MS more than 20 years ago while working as a registered nurse. Its progression caused changes in my employment – from a clinic nurse and public health nurse to a sedentary position reviewing Medicare files. The disease’s progression eventually forced me to [...]

No Escaping Kidney Disease

2023-01-09T20:38:02+00:00December 29th, 2022|Categories: Medigap Coverage, Patient Stories in the News|

To the Editor: Life with kidney disease is all I’ve ever known. I was born with this hidden illness and started receiving dialysis treatments at just 25 years old. Over the years, I’ve experienced the various hurdles patients face both as a kidney patient and as someone who is legally blind. Before my kidney transplant in 2018, I did in-center dialysis. As someone who is visually impaired, driving to and from the center wasn’t an option, so I relied on other forms of transportation, which became costly. I’m covered by Medicare and Medicaid for the dialysis itself, but still have [...]

Blankenship: Kidney Patients Need Better Access to Coverage

2022-12-21T17:39:28+00:00December 21st, 2022|Categories: Medigap Coverage, Patient Stories in the News|

Learning you have kidney disease can be overwhelming, something I found out myself while camping in 2003. It’s hard for patients to get the information they need about living with kidney disease, and for many patients the costs of treatment are excessive. Starting on dialysis brought with it a lot of changes, one of them being that I had to cut back on my working hours. Kidney disease as a whole can make a person weak, and going through dialysis treatments for several hours multiple times a week can take a lot out of you. Because of that, though, I [...]

Protect Dialysis Patients’ Coverage

2022-12-20T17:27:43+00:00December 18th, 2022|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Private Insurance Coverage|

I have been on dialysis treatments for almost 13 years due to end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Kidney disease can be a lot to handle with frequent dialysis treatments, doctor's appointments, and medications. On top of the medical responsibilities, I must ensure I have the proper insurance coverage. Initially after my diagnosis, I was fortunate to be covered by my wife’s employer-sponsored insurance. However, after 30 months, I had to switch to Medicare as my primary coverage, with my wife’s plan as my secondary coverage. This was often confusing in billing situations and created a hassle for me to explain to [...]

Dialysis patients across America are counting on Congress

2022-11-18T17:10:01+00:00November 15th, 2022|Categories: Medigap Coverage, Patient Stories in the News|

In October 2016, kidney disease forced me to start dialysis and retire from my career as a firefighter paramedic. This disease runs in my family, with my brother and mother also suffering. I currently require dialysis treatment three times a week and have to travel 72 miles round trip to the center for five-hour-long treatments. Dialysis costs me both time and money. Transporting myself to the center is costly, but it is my only out-of-pocket expense. My treatments are completely covered through both my private insurance and Medicare. However, many patients, such as my brother, are not as fortunate. Medicare [...]

Texas dialysis patients under 65 need help getting coverage

2022-11-07T19:38:16+00:00November 3rd, 2022|Categories: Medigap Coverage, Patient Stories in the News|

I've had a progressive kidney disease for several years and my doctor eventually referred me to a nephrologist to help manage my kidney health. Fifteen months ago I needed to start dialysis and I am fortunate because the treatments have gone very well. I’ve largely been able to get the coverage I need through Medicare and my supplemental Medigap coverage which pays for what Medicare won’t, outside of three medications that Medicare Part B and Part D doesn’t cover.Sadly, for many patients under 65 this isn’t the case, as they don’t have affordable access to Medigap plans. Lawmakers could help [...]

CA Dialysis Patients Need Lawmakers’ Help

2022-11-02T13:36:08+00:00October 31st, 2022|Categories: Medigap Coverage, Patient Stories in the News|

Finding out I needed to start dialysis two years ago was tough to accept. I’d always been an athlete, so I felt like this wasn’t something I’d have to face. But after low kidney counts for more than 5 years, I had to start treatments. Beyond difficult treatments, the financial burden they come with is enormous. I’m fortunate, however, to have a job at Life Alert Emergency Response that lets me tailor my schedule so I can stay employed and still receive health coverage. However, even between that plan and the secondary coverage I receive through Medicare, my monthly costs [...]

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