For a lot of patients, starting dialysis means not being able to work anymore. Thankfully, with my job I can work from home when I’m doing my treatments, which has been hugely beneficial in helping me stay employed and get the coverage I need.
The situation is very different for a lot of other patients, though, who can’t continue to work and get coverage. Instead, they rely solely on Medicare, which means if Medicare doesn’t fully cover a treatment or medication, they pay big out-of-pocket costs.
That’s why we need Congress to pass bills like the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act, which would extend Medigap coverage to patients under 65 who might not otherwise qualify for it. It’s a bipartisan way to make sure that people don’t have to worry about whether they’ll be able to afford life-saving care.
We recently received the difficult news that the wait time for a kidney transplant has gone up three or more years in my area. I can’t imagine what it’s like for patients already struggling to make ends meet to go without that coverage any longer.
I’m hoping that, as lawmakers start work on ways to hopefully reduce wait times for transplants, they can also work on bills like this to make coverage more accessible. Rep. Joseph Morelle has already signed on as a cosponsor, and now we need other New York lawmakers like Reps. Elise Stefanik and Paul Tonko to lend it their support, too.
Keith Plummer, Saratoga Springs, New York