Dialysis is one of the most expensive and exhausting long-term treatments for people with kidney problems. In the past, people suffering from kidney failure or similar issues would have to visit a healthcare facility to get dialysis treatment multiple times per week. In just the past few years, dialysis equipment has advanced so that many patients can receive treatment at home. That said, the equipment does not come cheap, and many private insurance companies do not cover the treatment. Fortunately, Medicare beneficiaries can now get their home dialysis covered under Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan.

What Is Home Dialysis?

Home dialysis is simply the application of hemodialysis treatment in a patient’s home, as opposed to a healthcare facility. Not only does this give patients more freedom to control their treatment, but it also means that they do not need to spend a huge portion of their time waiting in or commuting to clinics with dialysis equipment. In short, home dialysis is an easier and less stressful way to get dialysis treatment.

How Is Home Dialysis Administered?

Just like traditional dialysis, home dialysis treatment must be prescribed by a physician. Home dialysis is generally reserved for patients with late-stage renal failure. Patients with minor kidney problems or early-renal failure typically do not qualify for home treatment. That said, if you do qualify, your home dialysis treatment will be managed by a trained nephrologist.

What Does Medicare Cover for Dialysis Patients?

In September 2020, Medicare announced that it would begin incentivizing providers to cover at-home dialysis treatment for some patients. According to Medicare’s own statistics, more than 85% of Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries with kidney failure have to travel to a facility for dialysis. Patients with chronic kidney failure are also more prone to experience severe symptoms of COVID-19, making it more important than ever that they have coverage for home dialysis treatment. Thankfully, as of January 1, 2020, Medicare Part B began covering up to 80% of home dialysis treatment costs for beneficiaries who had already met their annual deductible.

It’s important to remember that this rule applies to both Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans. Both types of healthcare include Part B coverage for home dialysis machines and the associated treatment costs. However, you will have to pay 100% of the cost until you meet your Part B deductible.

The Bottom Line

Sadly, kidney failure affects thousands of Americans every year. While many older adults wait for a kidney transplant, they need dialysis treatment to survive. By adding home dialysis treatment to Medicare Part B coverage, Medicare has made dialysis treatment that much easier to obtain for those who need it the most.

If you’re interested in learning more about Medicare coverage for home dialysis, contact Time for 65’s licensed partnered agents today. Fill out this form or give us a call today to see how we can help.