When your kidneys fail, dialysis is your hope for a better future. But affording dialysis can be a tricky ordeal because Medicare, which all dialysis patients are required to have as their primary provider after 30 months, only covers 80% of the treatment costs.
For me, paying the other 20% was hard because, as someone under the age of 65, I had to pay high premiums for my supplemental plan. Unfortunately, paying for the coverage that saves patients’ lives is about to become even more difficult.
The Supreme Court decided that private insurance companies no longer have to provide full coverage for dialysis treatments when previously they had to maintain coverage for up to 30 months before a patient transitioned to Medicare. This means new dialysis patients with private plans could see their coverage dwindle when they need it most.
As someone who serves as a mentor to other patients, I’ve seen firsthand how this will impact people’s lives and health. Put simply, it would be a disaster. Congress must stand with dialysis patients and introduce a bill clarifying the law and ensuring that the private coverage some patients rely on doesn’t evaporate once they start dialysis.
Shawn Manley, Detroit, Michigan