Ten years ago while working for an airline my life changed. I was diagnosed with kidney failure, and I learned I’d need dialysis to survive. Eight years of dialysis and a transplant later, I am writing now to advocate for kidney patients everywhere.
For three years, I received dialysis in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Despite initial difficulties, my dialysis care was relatively seamless.
When I returned to the United States, Medicare required that I submit a plethora of paperwork. I had to pay out-of-pocket for more than 18 months while waiting for Medicare. Dialysis should not be more affordable in the United Arab Emirates than in the United States.
Dealing with Medicare can be challenging, which is why new dialysis patients have traditionally been able to keep their private insurance for the first 30 months of treatment to ease their transition. However, a 2022 Supreme Court decision essentially allows private insurers to push patients onto Medicare before they’re ready, which may stick patients with hefty bills.
To prevent bankrupting dialysis patients, Congress should pass legislation to empower dialysis patients, giving them the choice to keep their private insurance while transitioning to Medicare.
Antonio Green, Norfolk, Virginia