Kristal pictured with her husband, Ernest Higgins. Photo by Cameron B. Potts

My kidney transplant failing in 2017 changed my life. I went back on dialysis for the first time since 2012 and was spending more time in the hospital than I had before. Then, I lost my job and the insurance coverage it provided, and I had to go back on Medicare, which didn’t cover the whole cost of dialysis and forced me to pay up to 20 percent of the cost of my treatments.

I’m not alone, either. Dialysis patients all over the country struggle to afford their care when Medicare doesn’t fully cover treatments or medications. That’s why it’s so relieving to see Congress working on the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act.

It would expand Medigap coverage to dialysis patients under 65, meaning that the costs which aren’t otherwise met by traditional Medicare won’t be as much of an obstacle for dialysis patients like me.

I recently started in-home dialysis treatments, which make me feel like an improved, healthier person, but they don’t take away the financial burden of being a dialysis patient. I hope that Mississippi’s voices in Congress, like Representative Trent Kelly, vote to pass this bill and provide some much-needed help for dialysis patients.

 Kristal Bell Higgins, Olive Branch, Mississippi

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