While most state legislatures are adjourned during the summer months, DPC’s state advocacy program, under the leadership of Eastern Advocacy Director Elizabeth Lively, is focused on keeping the dialog moving with state legislative policy makers. The critically important issue of affordable access to Medigap coverage for under age 65 individuals with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) remains under discussion in a number of states during the summer months.
- DPC is meeting with our legislative champions, the health plans and our coalition partners to prepare for the 2023 re-introduction of comprehensive Medigap legislation that was debated in 2022 (HB 430). This bill included an additional open enrollment period and affordable access for eligible under-age 65 Kentuckians with ESRD.
- In 2022, Maryland passed legislation (HB 247) that added an additional open enrollment period for Medigap Enrollees. DPC is monitoring the rule-making process as the state prepares to implement the new law.
- State legislators are committed to moving forward in 2023 with the Medigap legislation (LB 1190/Amd 1706) debated this year, which included access for eligible under-age 65 Nebraskans with ESRD. DPC continues working with our coalition partners and educating legislators with data on Medigap coverage and premium rates.
- DPC is monitoring the development of Medigap affordable premiums for eligible under-age 65 Medicare Enrollees required by the passage of H 7244/S 2194 in 2022.
- DPC is participating in the study group mandated by the passage of S. 239. Access to Medigap plans for under-age 65 Vermonters and additional open enrollment periods are among the topics being studied by the study group, facilitated by the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation. The study group, which consists of advocacy organizations including DPC, health care providers, agencies on aging, the Office of the Health Care Advocate and Department of Vermont Health Access, must provide a report of their work to the Vermont General Assembly by January 15, 2023.
DPC is also focused on building relationships with coalition partners and state policy makers over the summer legislative break. In California, DPC attended the California Dialysis Council Education Conference, attended by approximately 200 attendees, including Registered Nurses, Administrators, Medical Directors, Social Workers, Dieticians and Certified Hemodialysis Technologists in the ESRD Community. DPC was able to discuss with attendees the importance of the patient voice in policy discussions, and the benefits of our membership program, including our Partners in Care program for healthcare professionals like themselves. Many were interested in our work elevating the patient voice as well as the resources provided by the DPC Education Center, and enrolled as DPC Partners in Care.
In our continuing work with coalition partners, DPC is participating on a virtual national Medigap panel discussion being facilitated by the Chronic Disease Coalition on September 22 from 1:30 to 2:30 pm Eastern Time. The discussion by panel members is focused on what states can do to provide access to affordable Medigap coverage for eligible under-age 65 individuals with ESRD and other qualifying chronic diseases, and the importance of the patient voice and stories in advocacy efforts. Use the following link to register for the webinar: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_bvjp3lAiS5W9y5-Gse_aWw