Chronic Disease Coalition takes stand against patient discrimination in Idaho and beyond

4.1.16

Last year, Debbie Birch, a farmer in Caldwell, Idaho, was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease, requiring regular dialysis treatments to stay alive. But her insurance company, Blue Cross of Idaho, has refused to provide dialysis treatment in-network, even though she and her husband have paid for their insurance. Without dialysis treatment, Debbie would die.

Colin Smith, of Kuna, Idaho, has multiple myeloma, a type of cancer that forms in plasma cells and has required him to undergo two radiation treatments and a stem-cell transplant. Blue Cross of Idaho has made him wait weeks – and forced him to file official complaints – in order to get the medications he needs to stay alive and make the transplant worthwhile.

It’s not just kidney patients and cancer patients. And it’s not just in Idaho. Insurers are increasingly targeting patients with chronic conditions nationwide, finding new ways to avoid paying for their treatment.

This is a trend that needs to stop.

The Chronic Disease Coalition urges lawmakers and insurance companies to do the right thing and make sure Americans can receive the health care they need.

No one should have to choose between getting the prescribed medical treatment they need to live and being able to keep the lights on or feed their family. Please help us stand up for people like Debbie and Colin and ask the state of Idaho to require insurers to treat patients fairly.

Together we can help to ensure access to lifesaving and necessary medical treatments for people living with chronic conditions.