Defending patients’ rights to choose health insurance

8.25.16

The American Kidney Fund recently shed light on the ongoing debate over third-party payments for kidney patients’ insurance premiums.

Many patients, and not just those with kidney disease, rely on charitable organizations for financial assistance in paying for premiums and co-pays, given insurance companies have increasingly required patients to bear more of those costs. But insurance companies are advocating for policies that would allow them to shift more chronic disease patients onto Medicare, which doesn’t offer the same level of coverage or choice.

In multiple blog posts, the nonprofit The American Kidney Fund highlights that choice in insurance is an important issue when it comes to patient rights, and people with end-stage renal disease — or other chronic illnesses such as hemophilia or MS, for that matter — should not be excluded as a class from the insurance marketplace, as insurance companies are pushing for.

“Insurers are engaging in a different kind of effort to avoid covering people with expensive illnesses — by refusing to accept third-party payments for health insurance premiums,” LaVarne Burton of the American Kidney Fund wrote. “While today a policy cannot be denied because of your illness, it can still be denied if you need help paying for it.”

You can read more here:

  • “Fighting for the insurance rights of ESRD patients”
  • “Third-party payment for kidney patient insurance premiums – It is about patient rights”