The Chronic Kidney Disease Improvement in Research and Treatment Act 2017 (House Resolution 2644) would amend current law that does not allow Medicare beneficiaries who are on kidney dialysis, and under 65, to purchase Medigap, or supplemental insurance to cover the 20 percent that Medicare does not pay. Iowa is one of more than 20 states that do not offer this additional insurance coverage.
People requiring dialysis, on average, face a 20 percent cost of $7,200 a year just for their dialysis treatments, which are usually needed three times weekly. In addition, they face out-of-pocket costs for doctor visits, hospital admissions and special services like diabetic care.
If a kidney patient cannot meet the 20 percent match, then they may have to rely on Medicaid, whose funding limits are uncertain. Insurance coverage is also paramount in the event the patient hopes to receive a kidney transplant under current law. This is only one, but a very important piece of the health care puzzle that Congress needs to consider.
— Jack Reynolds, Carlisle
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