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 me, but for many patients, they aren’t enough. Medicare only pays up to 80 percent of dialysis costs for patients under 65 if their state doesn’t have the right protections in place, with patients paying the rest. I fortunately have secondary insurance through an employer, but many others can’t say the same.
Patients need lawmakers to step up and help. The Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act would ensure patients can get Medigap plans to help cover the costs Medicare doesn’t handle alone and would alleviate a significant financial burden.
The medical expenses of these treatments present a monumental financial hurdle for our family. We can’t save to send our son to college or pay any costs beyond my medical treatments. The same is true for countless others, and we are counting on elected officials like Representative Mondaire Jones to pass legislation that can help.
Michael Delaney, Dobbs Ferry, New York