The American Kidney Fund leads the nation in charitable assistance to kidney patients. In 2015, we helped more than 93,000 patients in all 50 states access health care by providing grants to pay for health insurance premiums and other treatment-related expenses. Our programs include:
- Health Insurance Premium Program (HIPP)
- Safety Net grants
- Disaster relief grants
- Grants for children
- Prescription drug assistance
- Other prescription drug resources
Health Insurance Premium Program (HIPP)
If you have kidney failure and have health insurance coverage but are unable to afford the cost of your premiums, the American Kidney Fund's Health Insurance Premium Program (HIPP) may be able to help. Patients may qualify for this program if they have demonstrated insufficient income and savings to pay their premium bills. HIPP covers premiums for:
- Part B Medicare
- Commercial plans (including Marketplace plans)
- Employer group health plans
- COBRA plans
When you are accepted into HIPP, we pay your full premiums for the policy year. Our assistance will allow you to continue your health insurance coverage, enabling you to access all of the benefits covered under your health plan, including dialysis treatment, kidney transplant, doctor's visits, prescriptions and hospital stays.
We do not help patients choose or enroll in an insurance plan. We do not help patients choose dialysis clinics or other health care providers. We simply provide health insurance premium assistance to financially qualified dialysis patients on a first-come, first-served basis.
As a recipient of HIPP assistance, you are free to choose any health care provider and you may change dialysis clinics or providers at any time, within the benefits provided by your health plan. It is important for you to understand the benefits and requirements of your health plan.
Our assistance covers patients for the policy year. After the term of the policy is up, we re-evaluate a patient's financial situation to determine whether the patient still qualifies for our assistance.
To learn more about HIPP, give us a call at 1.800.795.3226, send us an email, or speak with the social worker at your dialysis center, who can help you submit an application through AKF's online Grants Management System.
Safety Net grants
If you are on dialysis, you probably have many health care expenses that are not covered by insurance. Typical expenses include the cost of transportation to and from dialysis; over-the-counter medicines; co-payments; and other needs, for example, dentures.
Kidney donors have out-of-pocket expenses related to giving the gift of life. These expenses often include the cost of travel and lodging, or the expense of lost wages during the transplant process.
The American Kidney Fund's Safety Net Program provides small grants to help people with these costs. We depend on contributions from supporters nationwide to be able to make these grants available. We currently are able to provide a maximum grant of $100, once per year, to financially qualified individuals. In 2015, we provided Safety Net grants to about 10,000 people in all 50 states. For more information about applying for a Safety Net grant, speak with the social worker at your dialysis center today, give the American Kidney Fund a call at 1.800.795.3226, or send us an email.
Disaster relief grants
When a flood, hurricane, tornado or other disaster strikes a community, the American Kidney Fund’s Disaster Relief Program helps kidney patients get back on their feet. The program provides assistance to help patients replace medications, food and household items, and pay for other lost necessities. AKF has provided significant assistance over the years during major catastrophes, such as Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy. For information about the Disaster Relief Program, speak with the social worker at your dialysis center, call the American Kidney Fund at 1.800.795.3226, or send us an email.
Grants for children
All of AKF’s financial assistance programs are available to children who are living with kidney failure and whose household incomes qualify them for AKF assistance. In addition, our Summer Enrichment Program provides financial assistance to help children with kidney disease or kidney failure attend specialty camps and other local summer programs of their choice. These specialty camps offer all the fun of traditional camps, but they are also equipped with the facilities and staff to handle the unique medical needs of these children. AKF begins accepting applications for the Summer Enrichment Program each year in early April. For more information about the Summer Enrichment Program, give us a call at 1.800.795.3226 or send us an email.
Prescription drug assistance
Through a partnership with Sanofi Renal/Genzyme Corporation, Renvela® (sevelamer carbonate) and IV formulations of Hectorol® (doxercalciferol) injection are available to financially qualified dialysis patients who have no prescription drug coverage. Eligible patients may receive up to a three-month supply and if necessary, may reapply at the end of their grant period.
The American Kidney Fund administers Sanofi Renal/Genzyme’s Renal Patient Assistance Program. Assistance is made possible by a generous product donation from Sanofi Renal/Genzyme. Learn more.
Other prescription drug resources
Medicare and some private insurance policies do not automatically include prescription drug coverage. If you do not enroll in Medicare Part D or in your private insurance company’s prescription drug plan, you will need to pay out-of-pocket for any medicines your doctor prescribes. Prescription drugs are extremely expensive, sometimes costing thousands of dollars a month. If you are not enrolled in Medicare Part D or do not have prescription drug coverage as a part of your private health insurance policy, and you cannot afford to pay for your prescriptions, you may be eligible for programs that help you pay for your medicine.
The Patient Advocate Foundation has a list of financial assistance programs offered by drug companies to help people who can’t afford their medicines. Check here to see if the company that makes your medicine has a program that can help you.
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance also has a list of patient assistance programs for prescription medicines. At this website, you may type in the name of your medicine and find a list of programs that can help you pay for it.
If you need more help, talk to your dialysis center social worker or contact the American Kidney Fund's HelpLine at 866.300.2900.