Protecting Dialysis Patients’ Health Coverage

2024-03-29T01:13:41+00:00January 9th, 2017|Categories: Access to Transplant, Blog, Care Coordination, Charitable Premium Assistance, Legal Defense, Medigap Coverage|Tags: |

By Hrant Jamgochian, CEO Dialysis Patient Citizens Across the country, thousands of patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) face the agonizing choice of paying for necessities such as rent and food, or paying the insurance premiums that enable them to get dialysis and other critical care. Fortunately, ESRD patients have options. Thanks to federal law, they can enroll in Medicare at any age. Or, if they would rather keep a private insurance plan, they can apply for financial help from charities such as the American Kidney Fund. These payments are a lifeline that enables patients to maintain their existing coverage and [...]

Dialysis Patients Outraged by CMS Move Giving Insurers Illegal Veto Power Over Access to Private Coverage

2024-03-29T01:13:41+00:00December 19th, 2016|Categories: Access to Transplant, Care Coordination, Charitable Premium Assistance, Legal Defense, Medigap Coverage, Press Release|

Dialysis Patient Citizens says CMS rule tacitly allows insurers to discriminate based on patients’ health condition Washington, D.C. – Advocates for dialysis patients are outraged by an interim final rule issued late yesterday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that could force patients off their current health plans and jeopardize their access to care. The rule, which CMS wrote with the stated purpose of ensuring that dialysis patients receive accurate information about their health coverage options, instead empowers insurers to prevent those patients from receiving charitable premium assistance that makes their health insurance affordable. “The administration is [...]

DPC Files Legal Complaint with the Office of Civil Rights over Discrimination by Blue Cross Idaho

2024-03-29T01:50:29+00:00June 6th, 2016|Categories: Article, Charitable Premium Assistance, Legal Defense, State Advocacy|

On behalf of kidney patients nationally, Dialysis Patient Citizens (DPC) filed a legal complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights citing discriminatory behavior by Blue Cross Idaho (BCI) against individuals with kidney failure, a disease which disproportionately impacts minorities. The complaint involves a new BCI policy guideline, targeting policyholders with kidney failure who need three times weekly dialysis to live. Under the policy, BCI screens policyholders with kidney failure to determine how their premiums are paid and dumps individuals who receive financial assistance from the non-profit, federally approved charity, American Kidney Fund (AKF). The non-profit DPC, the nation’s [...]

DPC and Patient Advocates Win Oregon Ruling on Discriminatory Insurance Practices

2024-03-29T01:50:31+00:00November 9th, 2015|Categories: Article, Legal Defense, Promote Financial Security, State Advocacy|Tags: |

DPC and kidney advocates won a ruling from the Oregon insurance commissioner against discriminatory language in an insurance policy limiting coverage for ESRD patients. Bob Lee, a DPC Patient Ambassador and ESRD patient, and Hrant Jamgochian, Executive Director of DPC, attended a public hearing on the topic in Salem and presented testimony on behalf of DPC’s membership. The insurance commissioner ruled: Insurers are prohibited from discriminating based on health factors. Insurers may not require enrollment in Medicare, regardless of member entitlement or eligibility. Insurers providing information to members regarding Medicare benefits must ensure the information provided is factual. Insurer communication [...]

DPC, Kidney Patient, Testify at Hearing on Surprise Medical Bills

2024-03-29T01:50:31+00:00October 9th, 2015|Categories: Article, Legal Defense, Promote Financial Security, State Advocacy|Tags: |

DPC Policy Director Jackson Williams and Pittsburgh kidney patient Janice Nathan were among witnesses at a hearing held by Pennsylvania’s insurance commissioner on “surprise medical bills.” These are bills received from physicians who are outside of an insurer’s provider network even though they work inside facilities that are in-network. Janice Nathan’s primary care doctor recommended that she receive a cardiac stress test. Ms. Nathan checked her insurer’s provider directory and found an in-network facility to get the test. But when she received a cardiologist’s bill for $325—much more than the $50 co-pay she expected—she learned that the cardiologist who read [...]

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