private health insurance coverage, patient health insurance

Dear Editor:

How would you feel if your life-saving medical treatment was out of reach?

Well, a recent Supreme Court decision allows private insurance companies to put new dialysis patients in a difficult position by severely limiting coverage in the first 30 months of treatment, even though patients have long been guaranteed full coverage within that time. Congress must act, for the very survival of kidney care in America is at stake.

As a dialysis patient myself, I know how difficult paying for treatment can be. In California, I am covered by Medicare, with MediCal covering the 20 percent of costs that Medicare doesn’t. Yet, I lost some coverage for a short period of time because of a paperwork issue at MediCal. Although short, this experience cost me thousands. After this Supreme Court ruling, many California dialysis patients on private plans may face similar issues because they would be pushed to Medicare prematurely without access to supplemental coverage.

This is why Congress needs to act. They can pass legislation which would restore private insurance coverage for dialysis patients in that initial 30 month window. America’s dialysis patients need Congress to stand up for what is right!

Mihi Wickramasinghe, Fontana, California