Statement from LaVarne A. Burton, President and Chief Executive Officer, American Kidney Fund

ROCKVILLE, Maryland (December 13, 2016) — On Monday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an Interim Final Rule (IFR) that protects health insurance companies at the expense of patients. The message to low-income kidney failure patients is loud and clear: the Affordable Care Act is not for you. In sending such a message, CMS sets a dangerous precedent for people with any chronic condition who depend on charitable assistance to afford premiums.

CMS’ stated goal in issuing the IFR is to create a more transparent process for patient education and referral to nonprofits for charitable assistance for health insurance premiums. We wholeheartedly support that goal—but in reality, the IFR effectively removes kidney patients from the insurance decision-making process. It leaves to insurers the decision of whether to provide ACA coverage to low-income kidney patients who need charitable assistance to afford premiums.

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