If you are living with kidney failure and are unable to afford your treatment-related expenses, the American Kidney Fund may be able to help. Patients who demonstrate financial need may apply for assistance through our grant programs. We distribute grants as funding becomes available.
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, 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.
Benefits for veterans
Veterans with kidney disease may be eligible for any one of AKF's grants or financial assistance programs. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) offers enrolled veterans kidney services that can help slow down and prevent kidney failure, including screening to prevent kidney failure, early management of kidney disease, kidney biopsy to assess for kidney disorders, management of blood pressure, anemia, bone disorders, and kidney stones, in-center or home dialysis, and kidney transplantation. Click here to download a handout with more information.
Post-Transplant Testing Program
Are you a recipient of a kidney transplant within the last ten years? Talk to your doctor about the option for a cell-free DNA test and if this is right for you. The American Kidney Fund is providing assistance to cover innovative new blood tests that offer ongoing tracking of the health of a transplanted kidney to look for kidney injury or rejection without the need for a kidney biopsy. Click here to download a flyer with more information.
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 2019, more than 10,000 kidney patients were able to pay for transportation to dialysis, nutritional products, emergency assistance and other expenses not covered by health insurance. 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.
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. Our Disaster Relief Program is now open to areas affected by devastating tornadoes in Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi and Tennessee. Disaster relief grants from AKF help patients replace lost medications and special renal diet foods, pay for temporary housing and transportation to treatment, and replace clothing and personal essentials lost in a natural disaster. AKF has provided significant assistance over the years during major catastrophes.
For information about the Disaster Relief Program, speak with the social worker at your dialysis center or call the American Kidney Fund at 1.800.795.3226.
Disaster preparedness for kidney patients
We can’t always predict when something will happen to derail our treatment plans. There are some simple steps you can take to make sure you are prepared and have access to the things you need to stay healthy in the event of a disaster. Learn more about disaster preparedness.
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 block grants to specialty camps that are equipped with the facilities and staff to handle the unique medical needs children living with kidney disease. For information on the camps that participate in AKF's Summer Enrichment Program, give us a call at 1.800.795.3226. The Summer Enrichment Program is supported by a generous grant from the Robert I. Schattner Foundation.
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.