Kidney failure is not a death sentence. With the right healthcare, Americans on dialysis can live energetic, productive lives. Unfortunately, paying for dialysis in America has become a Herculean task. Medicare only covers 80%, and the remaining 20% can cost thousands per year. Private insurance usually covers the first 30 months of dialysis before patients’ transition, by law, to Medicare.
However, a Supreme Court decision last year could allow private insurance companies to deny certain treatments to dialysis patients and deplete their coverage during that period. I urge Congress to pass legislation amending the Medicare Secondary Payer Act and securing coverage for dialysis patients in that 30-month period. Members of Congress should put themselves in our shoes and imagine what it’s like to begin dialysis without sufficient financial resources.
Quiana Bishop, Detroit, Michigan