At the young age of 25 years old, I had to accept the fact that I would need dialysis treatment to survive.
Like many Americans with kidney failure, I was too sick to continue working. I lost my employer-provided insurance soon after I stopped working. Since I did not immediately qualify for Medicaid, I was forced to pay the 20% of the bill that Medicare does not cover for 6 months. The costs were extensive, and I am still in the process of paying off that debt.
It is imperative, therefore, that dialysis patients who have private insurance can keep that private insurance as long as possible before transitioning to Medicare. Not only does this help with costs, but this also helps guarantee the highest quality of care.
Unfortunately, a recent Supreme Court decision allows private insurers to weaken coverage for dialysis, pushing patients off of their insurance prematurely and leaving many in the dust.
This is why Congress must pass legislation that ensures that dialysis patients can keep their private insurance for the first 30 months of treatment if they choose. If passed, this legislation will go a long way in helping kidney patients in America.
John Carter, Caldwell, Idaho