For over 40 years, end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients on dialysis have had the option to retain their employer group health plan or COBRA coverage for up to 30 months before moving to Medicare as their primary insurance as part of the Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) law. Specifically, the MSP provisions protect ESRD patients from discriminatory practices by insurers that would discourage their enrollment in a private plan.
However, in a recent U.S. Supreme Court case, the MSP law was interpreted in a manner that would allow plans to get around those protections for ESRD patients and undermine Congress's intent in adopting them.
H.R 8594/S. 4750, the Restore Protections for Dialysis Patients Act, is bipartisan legislation that would clarify that insurance companies comply with the Medicare Secondary Payer law by specifically stating that a health plan cannot discriminate against dialysis patients by providing less dialysis services compared to services for other chronic illnesses. It will ensure that dialysis patients have access to the care they need on their employer sponsored insurance for 30 months before moving to Medicare as their primary insurance.
Please contact your United States Representative and Senators and ask they cosponsor this important legislation.