On April 16, a coalition that includes insurers, employer groups, and a labor union sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary urging the department to limit the ability of organizations like AKF to provide financial assistance to low income kidney disease patients who need help paying for their health coverage. AKF sent our own letter to HHS and issued a statement that corrects the misleading statements and falsehoods in the insurer letter and sets the record straight on AKF’s mission and Health Insurance Premium Program (HIPP).

We explain that the goal of our financial assistance program “is to make health coverage possible for those who can least afford it when they get kidney disease” and that “we help patients with any type of insurance plan they’ve chosen, public or private.” In contrast, the objective of the other parties “is to limit the health coverage options of people with kidney failure by forcing them off private insurance and onto government health programs,” without any regard as to whether it is the right coverage for their own situation. Essentially, these groups want to discriminate against kidney disease patients battling an expensive and life-threatening condition and kick them off their insurance, including those patients who have chosen Medicare coverage and need charitable assistance to pay for their Medigap supplemental insurance.

AKF will continue our advocacy efforts on charitable premium assistance and continue to educate policymakers and the public about what’s at stake for kidney patients.