On October 1, online health insurance exchanges went live. Here’s what dialysis patients should know about the Affordable Care Act (also known as ACA or “Obamacare”):

  • Health insurance sold in the ACA exchanges is for people who do not (or will not after January 1) have health insurance provided by Medicare or an employer-sponsored health plan.
  • Kidney patients who have received a transplant and whose Medicare coverage has ended/will end soon will want to explore receiving coverage through an ACA exchange plan. Pre-existing conditions will not be a barrier to purchasing an exchange plan.
  • DPC staff is researching whether, for some people, an ACA exchange plan might offer better coverage at a lower cost than Medicare.
  • The proposed cuts to dialysis reimbursement are NOT related to Obamacare.

We are hopeful that expanded health coverage and improved access to care will mean that more people with chronic kidney disease can delay or avoid end-stage renal disease.