Home2019-05-17T13:56:35+00:00

Reject Coverage Limits on Kidney Transplant Care

Medicare’s 3-year coverage limit on immunosuppressive medications costs transplant patients their lives and Medicare millions. Help us honor the gift of life by protecting kidney transplants.

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REAL PATIENTS. REAL STORIES.

Medicare’s coverage limit on anti-rejection drugs impacts thousands of kidney transplant patients across the country. These are their stories.

Edward Drake II

“If we can make a difference, why not?”

Edward received a kidney transplant in 2008, but lost coverage for immunosuppressive medications at age 26. Hear why Edward wants Medicare to honor the gift.

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Monica Fox

“All of a sudden, the rug is pulled out from under you.”

Monica received her kidney transplant on Thanksgiving Eve 2016 but lives every day knowing as of next winter, her coverage of immunosuppressive medications isn’t a guarantee. Listen to Monica’s story.

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Natalie and Mark Mirage

“I’m 16 and I have a lot of life to live.”

The relief of Natalie receiving her transplant in 2014 is overshadowed by the lack of guaranteed coverage for the immunosuppressive treatments she’ll need for the rest of her life. Watch Natalie and Mark discuss their fears and hopes for the future.

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Share how Medicare’s three-year coverage limit on immunosuppressive medications impacted you.

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Kidney transplant recipients require daily, lifelong immunosuppressive medications to reduce the likelihood of organ rejection. Under current law, Medicare covers the cost of a kidney transplant, but only pays for anti-rejection medication for three years. After Medicare drops their coverage, transplant patients who aren’t fortunate enough to find affordable insurance are left to cover the cost of the medication on their own.

Without the immunosuppressive drugs to prevent rejection, many patients find themselves back in a risky and frightening place – in need of a new kidney and having to go back on dialysis. Dialysis is a costly treatment that reduces overall health outcomes and quality of life. Dialysis costs Medicare $86,300 per patient per year, whereas anti-rejection medications only cost Medicare $2,303. The choice is clear. Everyone loses when a kidney transplant fails because of lack of immunosuppressive drug access. The current policy costs Medicare more in the long run, decreases ESRD patients’ quality of life, and fails to honor the sacrifice of the donor.

Medicare’s coverage limits cannot be justified morally, medically, or economically, and they must be changed. Congress can and should do more to protect people living with transplants, honor their donors, and save Medicare money.

It’s time to ensure Medicare coverage of immunosuppressive drugs for kidney transplant patients.

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POLICY OVERVIEW

The Immunosuppressive Drug Coverage for Kidney Transplant Patients Act is a straightforward solution to an unnecessary problem – this legislation honors the gift of transplantation, protects patients, and saves Medicare money by extending coverage of life-saving immunosuppressive medications to the lifespan of the transplanted organ.

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Kidney transplant recipients at risk of losing Medicare coverage each year
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Average annual cost Medicare pays for kidney transplant recipients’ immunosuppressive medications
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of U.S. kidney-transplantation programs reported deaths and organ transplant losses due to patients’ inability to pay for their anti-rejection medications
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The amount this legislation is estimated to save Medicare, if enacted
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