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Florida Legislature Unanimously Supports 'The Alonzo Mourning Access to Care Act' to Help State's Kidney Failure Patients and the Disabled
Date:4/29/2009

Governor Expected to Sign Legislation to Provide Access to Medigap Secondary Insurance for Florida's Most Vulnerable Patients Next Month

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., April 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following unanimous support in the Florida House this week, the Florida Senate today also voted unanimously for the bill renamed "The Alonzo Mourning Access to Care Act" that will help a special population of Florida's kidney failure patients and the disabled access the care they need.

Late last week, the legislature voted to rename the legislation in honor of Alonzo Mourning, who is also a kidney transplant recipient and a leading advocate for those suffering from kidney disease and kidney failure. The legislation will give Florida residents under the age of 65 who suffer from end stage renal disease (ESRD) and those deemed disabled access to Medigap coverage assistance, which would provide them with access to needed medical treatments, including kidney transplant, without cost being a barrier - and without having to "spend down" their income to become eligible for state Medicaid assistance, in many cases the only option for this population.

Mourning said, "This bill will ensure that kidney failure patients do not have to choose between life-saving medical care and their daily living expenses. I applaud the Florida legislature for making the right decision that ensures that this vulnerable population can access the care they need such as dialysis services, transplantation and prescription medications."

Two populations qualify for Medicare coverage: individuals over age 65, and those under 65 who meet certain conditions, including the diagnosis of ESRD. While Medicare covers most medical costs, it requires patients to pay deductibles and co-pays. Most patients have secondary insurance to help with these costs. However, approximately 2,000 kidney failure patients and many thousands more who are
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SOURCE National Kidney Foundation of Florida
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