Improving health equity: Making health care accessible to all

Learn how insurance premium assistance from AKF helps patients live their healthiest lives.

Child holding on to smiling father

People of color bear a higher burden of kidney failure, and the treatment regimen for this life-threatening disease very often makes it impossible for patients to continue working. The American Kidney Fund (AKF) does what no other nonprofit does — we provide a long-term financial safety net for our nation's dialysis and transplant patients, providing them access to the health care they need to survive. We believe that every kidney patient should have the ability to live their healthiest life, regardless of circumstances, and our program helps them do that. More than 60% of our grant recipients are people of color who face out of pocket costs upwards of $10,000 per year while having average household incomes of $30,000. AKF's program is a lifeline for underserved communities.

How our program works

HIPP was established in 1997 under an advisory opinion from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This advisory opinion allows dialysis providers to make voluntary contributions to AKF and gives AKF sole determination of whether a patient qualifies for a grant — a decision based only on the patient's financial need, not which health insurance they select, or who their provider is, or whether their provider contributes to AKF.

We consider only a patient's financial need when determining whether the patient is eligible for assistance from the HIPP program. Applicants must complete a worksheet that documents that they have very low income and assets relative to expenditures. It doesn't matter to us where our grant beneficiaries are treated, by whom, nor does it matter what kind of insurance they have. When a patient comes to us for assistance they already have an insurance policy. HIPP is there to help them pay for premiums that they would otherwise not be able to afford, and HIPP grants cover a patient's full policy year. For further details, see our OIG Compliance Policy.

AKF has never turned away a patient in need who qualified financially.

Download the Charitable Premium Assistance Guide.

Our impact

We are the nation's leading kidney nonprofit. With programs of prevention, early detection, financial support, disease management, clinical research, innovation and advocacy, no kidney organization touches more lives than AKF.

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    134 kidney transplants per month made possible with AKF's support, more than any other organization.

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    30+ years of funding innovative research

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    In 2023, nearly 58,000 dialysis and recent transplant patients were able to afford the cost of health care and other treatment-related expenses.

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