Dialysis Patient Advocates Defend Patients' Choice of Health Plans

Tuesday, April 17, 2018 General News
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Weeks After Adverse COBRA Ruling, Industry's Message to Dialysis Patients Is "If You Like Your Health Plan and Want to Keep It, You've Been 'Steered'"

WASHINGTON, April 17, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A letter to HHS officials assembled by insurers, employers and

a labor union adds a remarkable new assertion to a raft of tired and misleading arguments: Workers who lose their jobs due to kidney failure and want to maintain their employer-sponsored insurance are being "steered" to COBRA continuation coverage by the American Kidney Fund.

Late last month, in response to a complaint from Dialysis Patient Citizens, the Department of Labor (DOL) ruled that kidney patients have a right to receive assistance from the American Kidney Fund (AKF) to pay their COBRA premiums. The Hawaiian Blue Cross Blue Shield insurer HMSA had threatened to cancel COBRA coverage for dialysis patients receiving AKF assistance and was advised by DOL to back down.

"The great majority of dialysis patients who receive AKF assistance for commercial health insurance were enrolled in those health plans before their kidneys failed," said Hrant Jamgochian of Dialysis Patient Citizens. "Like most Americans, dialysis patients want to keep their health plans. Their ability to continue coverage after kidney failure incentivizes health plans to do all they can to maintain kidney function; arrange a preemptive transplant when possible; or expedite a safe transition to dialysis with a minimum of complications and a maximum of education about modality options."

A DPC fact sheet that rebuts the industry letter's many incorrect assertions is available here on the DPC website.

Dialysis Patient Citizens is America's largest patient-led organization representing dialysis patients, DPC's membership consists of more than 29,000 dialysis and pre-dialysis patients and their families.

CONTACT:Kristy Lukaszewski202.789.6931 Ext 101Klukaszewski@dialysispatients.org

Cision View original content:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/dialysis-patient-advocates-defend-patients-choice-of-health-plans-300631530.html

SOURCE Dialysis Patient Citizens



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