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, commercial plans (including Marketplace plans), employer group health plans and COBRA plans. 

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
  • 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.
  • 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 you receive a transplant, your HIPP assistance will continue through the end of the insurance payment period in which the transplant is provided. You should work with your dialysis social worker and transplant center to secure post-transplant coverage.
  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.
  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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