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, [...]

I Received a Kidney Transplant, but Concerns about Coverage Remain

2023-06-20T17:45:13+00:00June 20th, 2023|Categories: Blog, Medigap Coverage, Patient Ambassadors, Patient's Voice, Private Insurance Coverage|

Ruben Garcia, Webster, Texas After years on dialysis, I was fortunate to receive a kidney transplant. While I am grateful to be off dialysis, its emotional and financial burdens will take years to recover from. When I started dialysis I had no private insurance and was 100% reliant on Medicare. Medicare, however, only covers 80 percent of each treatment. I couldn’t afford to pay out of pocket, but what choice did I have? I couldn’t live without these treatments. Medicare also does not cover all costs of kidney transplants and the medications needed afterward. Going through dialysis while wondering [...]

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 [...]

A Huge Thank You to Our Tireless Patient Advocates

2022-10-26T18:21:54+00:00October 26th, 2022|Categories: Article, News, Private Insurance Coverage, Protect Patient Care|

DPC would like to take a moment to thank our tireless group of Members and Patient Ambassadors for continuing to share their personal stories on the importance of supporting H.R. 8594/S. 4750 – The Restore Protections for Dialysis Patients Act. From drafting Letters to the Editor to recording video interviews, their words really highlight the need to allow kidney patients to decide which health insurance will best serve them and preserve patient choice. Allowing ESRD patients to stay on their private insurance plan for up to 30 months could help them cover the high costs of care, have access to transplant, [...]

Time is running out: Dialysis patients need Congress to act

2022-10-27T16:37:39+00:00October 26th, 2022|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Private Insurance Coverage|

“Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” are the inalienable rights which our government was created to secure. Thomas Jefferson famously penned these words when authoring the Declaration of Independence, but nearly 250 years later, those rights are at risk for dialysis patients thanks to a recent Supreme Court ruling. This June, in Marietta Memorial Hospital Employee Health Benefit Plan v. DaVita Inc., the high court sided with a private insurer that was being sued for limiting its coverage of dialysis to 30 treatments. The court ruled the plan wasn’t discriminating against kidney disease patients, as the 30 treatment threshold applied to [...]

Send lifeline to kidney dialysis patients

2022-10-11T13:07:20+00:00October 11th, 2022|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Private Insurance Coverage|

At 21, I was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease, which meant my kidneys were failing. Until my diagnosis, I was completely healthy, in the middle of nursing school and working full time. The onset of this disease was the beginning of a series of hospitalizations, surgeries and dialysis treatments. I began dialysis while I waited for my kidney transplant. I needed these treatments not only to live, but so I could finish nursing school and eventually return to full-time work. One of the biggest challenges beyond my health issues was insurance coverage. This problem could potentially worsen for dialysis patients with [...]

Equal Justice Remains Elusive for Kidney Patients. Congress Can Help.

2022-10-04T15:04:41+00:00October 4th, 2022|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Private Insurance Coverage|

Four simple words sit above the entrance to the Supreme Court: “Equal Justice Under Law.” That short phrase, though, carries immense weight. It is a promise to the American people that we will receive fair treatment in our justice system, and serves as a principle to guide people in power. For dialysis patients – who already face massive health disparities – it’s a promise that might go unfulfilled following a Supreme Court decision earlier this year that could open the door for health insurance companies to discriminate against them. In Marietta Memorial Hospital Employee Health Benefit Plan v. DaVita Inc., the Court ruled [...]

DPC Continues Outreach to Protect Patients’ Rights

2022-09-20T17:33:33+00:00September 6th, 2022|Categories: Advance Patient Choice, Article, Private Insurance Coverage, Protect Patient Care, Take Action, Treatment Options|

DPC Members and Patient Ambassadors continue advocacy on H.R. 8594/S. 4750 - The Restore Protections for Dialysis Patients Act, which would codify into law the right for dialysis patients to stay on their private insurance for up to 30 months, if they should so choose. This bill not only preserves patient choice but also encourages insurers to detect and treat kidney disease early and, most importantly, protects kidney disease patients from discrimination. This legislation reinstates the importance of allowing kidney patients to decide which health insurance will best serve them. For more information, to watch patient testimonials, or to take action, [...]

Congress needs to protect kidney patients following Supreme Court decision

2022-09-19T16:11:59+00:00August 28th, 2022|Categories: Patient Stories in the News, Private Insurance Coverage|

I recently joined other dialysis patients in meetings with Congress to discuss the challenges we face. One of the key topics we covered was how hard it is for patients to get access to the benefits and coverage we need just to survive. Those challenges are about to get much bigger for many patients after a recent Supreme Court decision. The decision could limit benefits and make it easier for private insurers to move patients off their employer-sponsored coverage and onto Medicare before the traditional 30-month point after they are diagnosed, limiting patients’ access to benefits Medicare doesn’t cover for [...]

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