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The National Kidney Foundation of Florida Commends Senator Thad Altman, Representative Ritch Workman for Co-Sponsoring 'Common Sense' Legislation Widely Hailed as 'Good for Patients, Good for Taxpayers, Good for Florida'
Date:3/16/2009

SB 1022/HB 675 Bill Would Provide Access to Medigap as Additional Coverage Option For Florida Kidney Failure Patients Who Qualify

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., March 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Kidney Foundation of Florida (NKF of Florida) praised Senator Thad Altman and Representative Ritch Workman today for co-sponsoring proposed legislation that would provide access to secondary health insurance for Florida's end stage renal disease (ESRD) patients under age 65 who are facing challenges securing critical medical services -- such as kidney transplant and prescribed medications -- due to cost. If Florida passes this bill, it will join 28 other states that already provide this type of coverage access. Governor Crist stated in a press conference with former NBA All Star Alonzo Mourning (who underwent a kidney transplant and came to Tallahassee to support the bill) that he would sign the bill when it crossed his desk.

"As I am a kidney disease patient under age 65, this Medigap legislation would ensure that I - and patients like me - will be able to afford prescribed medications and other important treatments, which can be extremely costly," said Rich Salick, Community Relations Director of the NKF of Florida and a kidney patient from Rockledge. "I am very grateful to my Representative, Ritch Workman, for sponsoring this bill, and I urge his colleagues to pass this legislation so we can begin helping the hundreds of patients in our state who would benefit from this coverage."

While Medicare provides coverage for all individuals age 65 and older, it also covers certain patients of any age with certain conditions, such as ESRD. Medicare covers most costs of care, but patients must pay their own deductibles and co-pays. Beneficiaries over age 65 are able to purchase Medigap as secondary insurance under federal law; this coverage helps them access care without cost being a barrier and avoid having to depl
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SOURCE National Kidney Foundation of Florida
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