National Kidney Foundation Statement on Medigap Consumer Protection Act
November 2, 2016 - The National Kidney Foundation supports H.R. 6265, the Medigap Consumer Protection Act recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA). Designed to end the discriminatory treatment of Medicare beneficiaries under age 65 who have been denied access to Medigap policies based on preexisting conditions, the Medigap Consumer Protection Act will help people with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) gain access to the supplemental coverage they need.
“The out-of-pocket costs of dialysis treatments for people with end-stage renal disease or care of kidney transplant patients can total thousands of dollars each year,” said Kevin Longino, CEO, National Kidney Foundation and kidney transplant patient. “For people who have Medicare as their primary insurance coverage, access to a Medigap policy can mean the difference between affording life-saving treatments and medications and having to forego them to pay basic household expenses,” added Mr. Longino.
The Medigap Consumer Protection Act will help extend guaranteed issue rights to the entire Medicare-eligible population. In addition, it will limit price discrimination by health plan issuers based on age, increase consumer access to information regarding coverage options, and restore access to the most popular Medigap plan options. “We strongly support the Medigap Consumer Protection Act and applaud Congressman McDermott for tackling a tough issue on behalf of all those with disabilities and end-stage renal disease,” said Mr. Longino.
Kidney Disease Facts
1 in 3 American adults is at risk for kidney disease. 26 million American adults are affected by chronic kidney disease—and most aren’t aware of it. Risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, family history, and age 60+. People of African American; Hispanic; Native American; Asian; or Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease. African Americans are 3 ½ times more likely, and Hispanics 1 ½ times more likely, to experience kidney failure.
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive and longstanding organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease. For more information about the NKF visit www.kidney.org.