If you're an under-age 65 kidney disease patient or a family member, you know how difficult it can be to keep financially above water, juggling how to pay for rent, food and the out-of-pocket medical costs. You may have tried to get on the kidney transplant wait list only to be told that you need secondary health insurance to qualify for transplant.
The state's Medigap insurance bill, HB 345, will help ensure ESRD patients under 65 on Medicare won't face either of these tragedies. Insurance companies have said that this bill will cost too much and isn't fair to other subscribers. We know that not having the ability to help protect yourself from the crippling costs of treatment is a true injustice, and this bill is going to change that.
Thanks to you, this critical bill made it out of the House Committee and was passed by the House. Now, with the clock ticking on the end of the legislative session, we need you Senator to vote YES.
This bill will reduce dialysis costs for thousands in our community by requiring private insurance companies to offer Medigap policies to ESRD patients under 65 on Medicare and make sure that they're affordable.
I am writing as an advocate with the American Kidney Fund living in Kentucky to ask you to vote YES on HB 345.
Under-age 65 dialysis patients who are covered by Medicare but not Medicaid (called non-duals) need the financial security and access to life-saving kidney transplant that coverage by Medicare Supplemental Insurance (called Medigap) would provide. There are only about 1,481 Kentuckians who qualify to purchase this coverage, and it would mean the difference between trying to decide to pay rent, buy food or pay medical bills. In fact, many individuals in this situation give up and spend down assets to qualify for Medicaid so that the state pays their 20% out-of-pocket costs which can be up to $18,000 per year.
Without secondary insurance coverage, most transplant centers will not list patients on the active transplant wait list as patients need the financial resources to cover post-transplant care that will keep their new kidney healthy. The cost to provide coverage for these 1,481 individuals is very small as premiums for all Medigap Enrollees would increase by around $2 dollars per month.
Thank you for supporting this group of under-age 65, non-dual Kentuckians who need your help to access affordable Medicare Supplemental Insurance coverage. Please vote YES on HB 345.
Help us push this bill across the finish line. Thank you.
For more Medigap information, review AKF's issue overview on our website
Senior Director of State Policy and Advocacy