Citizens are calling on the federal government to overturn an Interim Final Rule that would give health insurance companies new power to unfairly deny coverage to people with kidney disease. If the rule, CMS-3337-IFC, becomes final, dialysis patients could lose choice of health plan.
As of late this week, all of the comments posted on the government’s website so far were from people opposing the rule and calling for protection of kidney patients. Make sure your voice is heard too! There’s still time to comment. Click here to submit your opinion.
If you need ideas of what to say, here are 6 examples of what people have said this week.
1. From a woman in Washington:
“This ruling benefits ONLY the insurance providers who do not want to have to cover ESRD under the Affordable Care Act. The resources at CMS would be better utilized to investigate the multitude of way insurance companies work to NOT pay claims for their insured, putting (not) only ESRD patients at risk but placing financial burden on Americans trying to navigate the confusing and misleading web woven by insurance companies.”
2. From a woman in California:
“With all due respect, this ruling is a huge disappointment with far reaching negative impact upon ESRD patients in need. These underserved patients utilize this assistance because they have no other options for access to quality care. Without continued financial support they are unable to afford the premiums and therefore revert to Medicaid (and in some cases Emergency ONLY Medicaid) which has either very long wait times for care or the care they need simply isn't a covered benefit.
"For many this isn't just a quality of life issue, this is a life or death issue.”
3. From a registered nurse in Kansas:
“This is awful! I am an RN and worked day in and day out with end stage renal failure patients. Insurance companies should NOT be allowed to regulate the coverage these patients receive as fully as this!”
4. From an insurance counselor in Missouri:
“I have witnessed these patients not have adequate coverage to assist with their dialysis, medications or hospitalizations. AKF has proven to be the only way some of these patients can get insurance. Without this valuable assistance, many patients would either have no coverage at all - or have coverage that only covers the bare essentials. Having this assistance for patients has provided them the opportunity to see specialists, as well as get on transplant lists (not only in their own state, but other states as well).
“Many of these patients do not have the work credits to qualify for Medicare, so are only eligible for Medicaid. While Medicaid is adequate coverage for some, it is not a "one size fits all". Many of our patients would like to travel, see specialists that don't accept Medicaid, etc. Unfortunately, because they have been diagnosed with ESRD, they have no options for any coverage other than Medicaid.”
5. From a specialist working with patients in Washington:
“This ruling takes away a patient's choice. The one thing it claims to be protecting.”
6. From a financial counselor in North Carolina:
“What a cruel and inhumane way to treat people who are receiving life sustaining dialysis treatments.”
Related: Chronic Disease Coalition calls on federal government to overturn rule enabling insurers to discriminate against kidney disease patients