To the Editor:

There is a bill which would expand Medigap Coverage to Illinois patients who need it.

My story with kidney disease goes back more than 10 years to when my mom stepped in and donated one of her kidneys to me. While that was an invaluable gift on her part, that transplant failed a few years ago, and I was put on aggressive medication that meant I was given a choice between my kidneys and my life.

My own struggles have made me want to be there for others who are worse off than me. While I thankfully was able to receive my dialysis at home through a plan that covered the cost of the treatment, that isn’t the case for others, especially when Medicare doesn’t cover the full cost of their treatments or medications.

The Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act would help those struggling with costs by expanding “Medigap” coverage for things not covered under Medicare to dialysis patients under 65 and make sure that people get the help they need. I sincerely hope that my representative, Cheri Bustos, and Illinois’ other members of Congress will support this piece of legislation.

Medicare is already a complicated enough process to work through, and the rules and regulations about coverage are hard to understand. The cost of dialysis and the transportation to clinics cause many folks to choose between paying for dialysis, other medications, and groceries. No one should have to make that choice.

Michael Nicholas, Galesburg, Illinois

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