Dear Editor: Starting dialysis at a young age was hard. I had only recently finished high school, and adjusting to life on dialysis when I was still a teenager was overwhelming.
It was even more difficult because I didn’t have reliable access to affordable Medigap coverage for the costs Medicare didn’t pay. Not every state requires Medigap plans to be available to patients under 65, so unless you qualify for disability or another form of coverage, patients are on the hook for what Medicare doesn’t cover.
Even when I was able to work before my transplant kidney failed, the premiums for coverage through my job were so prohibitively expensive I still had to receive coverage mostly through Medicare and pay the rest out of pocket.
Congress is working on a bill that could help, though. The Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act would make those plans both accessible and affordable. I’m hoping that Rep. Glenn Grothman and Wisconsin’s other members of Congress help to pass it.
Those of us who started dialysis young still want to be able to work and control our own future, but that’s difficult without access to affordable Medigap coverage. This bill can give us the chance we need.
Julie Nash, Oshkosh, Wisconsin