Patients Rising Statement in Support of Medigap Insurance for Patients with End-Stage Renal Disease


March 8, 2021

 Contact: Summer Johnson

WASHINGTON, DC — Patients Rising, a 100,000 member-organization of patients and caregivers living with chronic illness, today released the following statement in support of the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act, a bipartisan bill introduced by Congresswomen Cindy Axne (D-IA) and Jamie Herrera-Beutler (R-WA). The bill allows anyone with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) the opportunity to purchase Medigap supplemental plans to cover kidney treatment. 

“Patients Rising whole-heartedly supports the Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act, so age does not serve as a discriminating factor when it comes to paying for treatment for those with End Stage Renal Disease,” said Terry Wilcox, Executive Director and Co-founder of Patients Rising. “Patients shouldn’t have to choose between sustaining their life or paying their bills. Every patient should be allowed to get insurance to cover high-dollar dialysis to save their own life. We will continue to fight to make sure every patient has access to the life-saving treatments they need.”

Currently, U.S. federal law does not ensure that all Medicare beneficiaries, specifically those under the age of 65, have access to “Medigap” supplemental insurance. ESRD can affect anyone of any age, requiring regular kidney dialysis, estimated at $54,000 per year. The Jack Reynolds Memorial Medigap Expansion Act is named after a young man and tireless kidney disease advocate who needed three kidney dialysis treatments his entire lifetime, following an injury at age four. Reynolds passed away in 2020. 

Patients Rising

Patients Rising is a 100,000 member-organization of patients and caregivers living with chronic illness. The Washington D.C.-based non-profit works with patients to advocate for access to the treatments, innovations and care they need. Patient programs and initiatives include Patients Rising Concierge, Patients Rising University, Voices of Value, and Patients Rising NOW. Programming efforts focus on educating patients about the legislative process and empowering them to advocate for reforms to advance patient access, affordability, and transparency in healthcare.


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