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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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Patients with Kidney Disease Need Medigap Expansion Bill

2022-03-08T15:38:32+00:00February 9th, 2022|Categories: Patient Stories in the News|

Kidney disease is a life-changing diagnosis. Since I went into renal failure, I’ve believed that patients should only have to worry about the care they need to get well, not the high costs that come with it. Unfortunately, that isn’t the reality I’ve encountered, given my insurance and Medicare don’t cover the full costs of the life-saving treatments and medications I need to fight my kidney disease. Thankfully, Congress is considering a bill that would help kidney disease patients like me. The Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act would open Medigap coverage to patients under 65, so that we can [...]

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