When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit last year, it forced a lot of people out of work. That was especially the case for dialysis patients like me, as our kidney disease means we’re at a higher risk for getting seriously sick if we get COVID-19, and we’ve had to take extra steps to stay safe.

While I’m looking forward to returning to work, doing so means I will lose some of the coverage I have that covers what Medicare doesn’t. Unless I can get that “Medigap” coverage, I and other dialysis patients in my situation will be stuck paying significant out of pocket costs that we may not be able to afford.

Like so many other patients, I want to be as productive as I can for a long time while also being there for my grandkids, and the best way to make sure I can is for lawmakers to help pass bills like this.

Everyone should be able to afford the care they need. By supporting bills like the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act and the BETTER Kidney Care Act, Maryland’s elected officials like Rep. Anthony G. Brown (D-Md., 4th), Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D-Md., 7th) and others can help to make that possible.

Maria Robinson is a member of the Dialysis Patient Citizens Board of Directors.