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, Medigap, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid (in states that charge premiums), commercial plans (including Marketplace plans), employer group health plans and COBRA plans.

AKF is an independent nonprofit organization. Our HIPP program depends on the generosity of donors, and we accept new applications for HIPP assistance as funding becomes available.

What is HIPP?

If you have kidney failure and have health insurance coverage but are unable to afford the cost of your premiums, AKF’s HIPP program may be able to help if you meet program eligibility qualifications.

HIPP covers premiums for:

  • Medicare Part B
  • Medicare Advantage Plans
  • Medicaid (if your state requires a premium payment)
  • Medigap
  • Commercial plans (including Marketplace plans)
  • Employer group health plans
  • COBRA plans

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HIPP eligibility criteria

  • You must live and receive dialysis treatment for end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in the U.S. or its territories.
  • When an existing HIPP patient receives a transplant, we provide health insurance premium assistance to the patient through the end of the insurance coverage plan year. Persons eligible to receive post-transplant assistance must already have been receiving HIPP assistance for at least three consecutive months prior to the time of their transplant.You must meet the eligibility requirements of the insurance coverage for which premium assistance is being requested.
  • You must meet the eligibility requirements of the insurance coverage for which premium assistance is being requested.
  • You must show that you cannot afford your health coverage. AKF will review your household income, reasonable expenses and liquid assets before granting assistance.
  • You must carefully review all forms of health insurance coverage (Medicare, Medicaid, Medigap, COBRA, EGHP, and commercial insurance) and available assistance for paying health insurance premiums (Medicaid, state and local assistance, charitable organizations) and select the combination that best serves your specific financial needs and medical condition.
  • For more detailed HIPP information and rules please review the HIPP guidelines available on AKF’s Grants Management System (GMS).

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Things you should know about HIPP

  1. HIPP is for people who can’t afford their monthly insurance premiums. We determine your eligibility based on our financial need criteria.
  2. We help you to pay for health coverage you’ve already chosen that best meets your needs. We don’t help you choose or enroll in an insurance plan.
  3. When you receive grant assistance from AKF, it doesn’t matter where you are treated. We will assist you whether or not your dialysis provider or transplant center makes charitable contributions to AKF, and you’re free to change providers at any time. We do not help you choose a dialysis clinic or other health care providers.
  4. Assistance with primary and secondary insurances is available (AKF will not assist with more than two types of insurance).
  5. Once you have assistance from HIPP, you’ll be able to access all of the health care services offered covered by your insurance, including transplant workups and transplants allowed under your plan.
  6. When an existing HIPP patient receives a transplant, we provide health insurance premium assistance to the patient through the end of the insurance coverage plan year. For example, a patient whose health plan year is on a calendar basis and who receives a transplant in May would be eligible to receive HIPP assistance through the end of December. If the transplant occurs in the final quarter of a plan/policy year and AKF has already begun paying premiums for the next plan/policy year, then AKF will continue grant assistance for the full new plan/policy year.
  7. We help you regardless of whether your health care provider makes charitable contributions to AKF.
  8. Although you receive HIPP assistance from AKF, you are the policy holder for your health insurance. The contract is between you and the insurance company. You are responsible for understanding all of the terms of your contract and for making sure that your health insurance premium is paid on time.
  9. AKF reviews grant requests on a “first-come, first-served” basis. We are an independent nonprofit organization. Our HIPP program depends on the generosity of donors, and we accept new applications for HIPP assistance as funding becomes available.  
  10. AKF processes applications within 10–14 business days on average.
  11. You should work with your dialysis social worker or HIPP coordinator to complete your HIPP application so that they have all the information to submit a complete and accurate application.
  12. It is important that you bring your most current insurance bill (no older than 90 days) to your dialysis social worker before applying to AKF for assistance. You must also sign and date a HIPP patient consent form. Not providing all required documentation can slow down the grant approval process and delay getting the grant to you.
  13. All applications must be submitted via AKF’s online Grants Management System (GMS).

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Download the HIPP guidelines and patient handbook

Download PDF versions of our HIPP guidelines and patient handbook:

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How do I get a copy of all HIPP programmatic forms?

All forms available within AKF’s Grants Management System (GMS) or by contacting us at patientservice@kidneyfund.org.

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