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Starting January 1st, 2021 under the 21st Century Cures Act all Medicare Advantage plans will accept customers with ESRDAHIP  *

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I have ESRD. Am I eligible for Medicare?

You can get Medicare no matter how old you are if your kidneys no longer work, you need regular dialysis or have had a kidney transplant, and one of these applies to you:

  • You’ve worked the required amount of time under Social Security, the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), or as a government employee.
  • You’re already getting or are eligible for Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits.
  • You’re the spouse or dependent child of a person who meets either of the requirements listed above.

Contact Social Security for more information about the amount of time required to be eligible for Medicare. (CMS)

***Two years?  Must get disability first?

If you get benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), contact the Railroad Retirement Board.

Can one buy a Medi-Gap policy if they have Medicare A & B and have ESRD?

If you have a Medi Gap plan before you are diagnosed with ESRD, you can keep it.  There is also a guaranteed issue opportunity when you turn 65,   Medicare Publication Kidney Dialysis & Transplant Services # 10128.  page 42.   If you are not in a guaranteed issue period, here’s the underwriting questions, so forget it.

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How much does kidney dialysis cost? 

How is it covered under the various options for Medicare Coverage?

How costly is kidney failure treatment?


Kidney failure treatment—hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, and kidney transplantation—is costly, and most people need financial help. The average cost to Medicare per person in 2011 was1

  • almost $88,000 for hemodialysis, a treatment for kidney failure that filters blood outside the body
  • more than $71,000 for peritoneal dialysis, a treatment for kidney failure that uses the lining of a person’s abdominal cavity as a filter
  • almost $33,000 for a transplant, surgery to place a healthy kidney from someone who has just died or a living donor, usually a family member, into a person’s body nih.gov  *


Dialysis is used during end-stage kidney failure to replace the functions of the kidneys — including waste removal and regulation of blood levels of potassium and sodium.

Typical costs:

  • Dialysis is covered by health insurance.
  • For patients covered by health insurance, out-of-pocket costs typically include the deductible, and coinsurance for the treatment cost.
    • For example, with Medicare, a patient, once the deductible of about $150 is met, typically would pay coinsurance of 20%; but many Medicare patients also have secondary insurance to cover all or part of that cost.
  • A study published in Health Affairs[1] showed that the average U.S. patient pays $114 for dialysis-related drug costs and about $10 in dialysis costs per month.  health.costhelper.com/dialysis.html   *


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home-delivered meals, transportation for nonmedical needs, pest control, indoor air quality equipment (e.g., air conditioner for someone with asthma), and minor home modifications (e.g., permanent ramps, widening of hallways or doorways to accommodate wheelchairs).    Listening

telehealth is  the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration. Technologies include videoconferencing, the internet, store-and-forward imaging, streaming media, and terrestrial and wireless communications.

Telehealth is different from telemedicine because it refers to a broader scope of remote healthcare services than telemedicine. While telemedicine refers specifically to remote clinical services, telehealth can refer to remote non-clinical services, such as provider training, administrative meetings, and continuing medical education, in addition to clinical services.  Learn More Health IT.gov  *  Telehealth  *  Modern Health Care  *

LIPITOR can cause serious side effects

These side effects have happened only to a small number of people. Your doctor can monitor you for them. These side effects usually go away if your dose is lowered or if LIPITOR is stopped. These serious side effects include:

  • Muscle problems. LIPITOR can cause serious muscle problems that can lead to kidney problems, including kidney failure. You have a higher chance for muscle problems if you are taking certain other medicines with LIPITOR.
  • Liver problems. Your doctor should do blood tests to check your liver before you start taking LIPITOR and if you have symptoms of liver problems while you take LIPITOR. Call your doctor right away if you have the following symptoms of liver problems:
    • Feel tired or weak
    • Loss of appetite
    • Upper belly pain
    • Dark, amber-colored urine
    • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
    • Learn More===> lipitor.com/side-effects

People who take high doses of popular cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins may be more likely to develop kidney problems, a new study suggests.

“If you are concerned about your statin then go talk to your doctor,” he said. “Do not panic. There are both urine and blood tests your doctor can use to monitor your kidneys.”

Signs of kidney injury could include dark urine, difficulty urinating or less frequent urination. “If you are on a higher dose of a statin and there is any issue with urination, call your doctor,” Steinbaum said. “Instead of a high-dose statin, we can use a lower-dose statin along with another type of cholesterol-lowering medication.”

Whatever you do, Mehta added, “do not stop taking statins abruptly. Have a conversation with your doctor to discuss your benefits and risks, and ask if your kidney function has been tested.” Read the whole article==> Web MD

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Medicare covers the substantial costs associated with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) for the vast majority of kidney patients. How will this coverage change under the newly implemented Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare?

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7 comments on “End Stage Renal – Kidney Failure

    • End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)—Permanent kidney failure that requires a regular course of dialysis or a kidney transplant.

      You can get Medicare no matter how old you are if your kidneys no longer work, you need regular dialysis or have had a kidney transplant,

      Having kidney failure means that:

      85-90% of your kidney function is gone
      your kidneys don’t work well enough to keep you alive

      When the beneficiary first enrolls in Medicare based on ESRD, Medicare coverage usually starts:

      1. On the fourth month of dialysis when the beneficiary participates in dialysis treatment in a dialysis facility.

      2. Medicare coverage can start as early as the first month of dialysis if:

      The beneficiary takes part in a home dialysis training program in a Medicare-approved training facility to learn how to do self-dialysis treatment at home;
      The beneficiary begins home dialysis training before the third month of dialysis; and
      The beneficiary expects to finish home dialysis training and give self-dialysis treatments.
      Example: If the beneficiary starts home dialysis training in a Medicare approved facility, or if a course of home self-dialysis training is begun before the third month of dialysis, or if the beneficiary is expected to finish home dialysis training and perform self-dialysis on July 17th, the Medicare entitlement date would be July 1st.

      3. Medicare coverage can start the month the beneficiary is admitted to a Medicare-approved hospital for kidney transplant or for health care services that are needed before the transplant if the transplant takes place in the same month or within the two following months.

      Example: If the beneficiary has a kidney transplant on July 17th, the Medicare entitlement date would be July 1st.

      4. Medicare coverage can start two months before the month of the transplant if the transplant is delayed more than two months after the beneficiary is admitted to the hospital for that transplant or for health care services that are needed before the transplant.

      Example: If on July 17th the beneficiary starts pre-surgical health care services that are needed prior to a kidney transplant and the transplant is performed on September 4th, the Medicare eligibility date would be July 1st, since the transplant was performed within two months of the pre-surgical services.

      5. Medicare coverage can start two months before the month of the transplant if the transplant is delayed more than two months after the beneficiary is admitted to the hospital for that transplant or for health care services that are needed before the transplant.

      Example: The beneficiary was admitted to the hospital on May 25th for some tests that are needed before a kidney transplant. The transplant was to be on June 15th; however, the transplant was delayed until September 15th. Therefore, the beneficiary’s Medicare coverage will start on July 1st, two months before the month of transplant.https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Coordination-of-Benefits-and-Recovery/Coordination-of-Benefits-and-Recovery-Overview/End-Stage-Renal-Disease-ESRD/ESRD.html


      Kidney failure refers to temporary or permanent damage to the kidneys that results in loss of normal kidney function. End-stage renal disease (ESRD) is when the kidneys permanently fail to work. https://stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-conditions/liver-kidneys-and-urinary-system/kidney-failure.html

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