Being diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease, ESRD, or kidney failure, changed my life. Suddenly, I needed intravenous treatment three times per week to survive. Like so many ESRD patients, I had to uproot my life to receive treatment.

I kept my job during my dialysis journey, working six hours a day and receiving treatment afterwards. I was perpetually exhausted — but I got through it.

Adding to the challenges ESRD patients like me face, a recent Supreme Court decision allows private insurers to push high-cost consumers like ESRD patients off of their plans prematurely, even if they are employed. I, like so many others, was pushed to come off of my private insurance. Since I was so young when I went into kidney failure that I did not have the work history to qualify for Medicare, I was forced into massive medical debt.

This should be a call-to-action for Congressman Frank Pallone to support the Restore Protections for Dialysis Patients Act. This legislation would allow dialysis patients to keep their private insurance during the initial 30 months of treatment.

ESRD patients should not be denied the private insurance coverage they’ve diligently paid for.

Marilyn Schamber, Hazlet, New Jersey

This article originally ran in the print edition of the Asbury Park Press on June 9, 2024.