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Miami Heat Fan Favorite and NBA All-Star Alonzo Mourning Visits Florida Legislature, Governor to Urge Needed Coverage for Florida Kidney Patients
Date:3/10/2009

Mourning Joins Florida Renal Coalition, National Kidney Foundation of Florida and Patients to Ask for Access to Medigap Secondary Insurance for Florida's Most Vulnerable Kidney Patients, and to Stress Importance of Education and Awareness for Kidney Disease

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., March 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Former Miami Heat stand-out and NBA Defensive Player of the Year Alonzo Mourning, who is also a kidney transplant recipient, participated in numerous meetings today at the State Capitol to ask lawmakers to pass key legislation this year that could help thousands of Florida's kidney failure patients who are struggling to access health insurance for the medical care they need.

The legislation - SB 1022 and HB 675 - would provide the opportunity for approximately 500 Florida end stage renal disease (ESRD) patients under the age of 65 to access Medigap coverage. Under current federal law, all Medicare beneficiaries over the age of 65 are already able to purchase this insurance as secondary coverage, which provides 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. Mourning asked that this same coverage option be extended to kidney patients under age 65.

"From my own experience with kidney disease, I know how critical it is to have access to life-saving medical treatments, and the importance of coverage," said Mourning. "Fortunately, I was able to receive a kidney transplant, which has made all the difference in my life. The patients represented here today deserve the same level of access to care, and I am proud to do all I can to help them attain this needed access by supporting this important legislation."

Under current Medicare law, two populations qualify for coverage: individuals over the age of 65, and those under 65 who meet cer
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SOURCE Florida Renal Coalition
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