February 14th is National Donor Day. That makes it the perfect opportunity to review Medicare’s coverage of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and kidney transplants. Keep reading to learn more.

What Is ESRD?

End-stage renal disease is the final stage of chronic kidney disease. It’s reached when a person’s kidneys have stopped working well enough for them to survive without either dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Usually, ESRD is caused by other medical conditions that have done permanent damage to the kidneys, little-by-little over time. Diabetes is a common cause of this, and high blood pressure is another.

If you have kidney disease and are approaching ESRD, then it’s crucial that you receive regular medical attention to protect your health. Medicare health insurance makes it easier for you to do that.

How Does Medicare Treat ESRD?

Original Medicare covers the most common treatment for ESRD, which is dialysis. This is a treatment that replicates the functioning of healthy kidneys in an external way. It removes excess water, solutes, and toxins from your body so that it can remain as healthy as possible.

Medicare will also cover the costs of a kidney transplant. But you only qualify for this coverage if the procedure is done in a hospital that Medicare has certified for kidney transplants. So be sure to verify this before you sign up for the procedure.

Additionally, your Medicare health insurance will cover the costs of your donor’s stay in the hospital. You won’t have to pay a dime towards the cost of their care, not a deductible, no coinsurance, and not any other type of fee that’s associated with the care that they receive while donating you their kidney.

How to Become a Donor

If you know someone who has ESRD, then you may be interested in donating one of your kidneys to them. If so, there’s a process that you’ll need to go through in order to qualify as a donor.

The first step is to contact the transplant center where the transplant candidate is registered. After that, you’ll need to have an evaluation done at the center. The physicians there will need to verify whether you’re a good match for the person that you plan on donating to.

In order to qualify, you’ll need to be a match for the person. You’ll also have to be healthy enough to donate. If you satisfy both of these conditions, then you and the recipient can schedule a time for the procedure to be done that works for both of you.


How Can I Learn More?

ESRD, dialysis, and kidney transplants can be complicated. But if you think that you might need treatment for ESRD soon, then it’s important that you begin preparing for that now. The best way to do this is by coming up with a plan that you’ll follow when the day for treatment arrives.

If you need help with verifying your coverage options, then consider reaching out to a partnered licensed agent through Time for 65. They can tell you about how plans like Medicare Advantage can unlock even more options for you.

Getting started is easy. You can do so today by either filling out this form or giving us a call.