Insurance Concerns

Hi all,

Don’t mean to be to be a pest but I am in need of information. Is Medicare the only form of payment accepted for home dialysis? As I read the articles and information Medicare is the only insurance listed. My husband does not have Medicare, and the social worker is checking into it, but what other options are out there? God bless.

He doesn’t have Medicare? Really? About 93% of people on dialysis have Medicare, because there is a Medicare ESRD program, which allows folks of ANY age who qualify for Social Security (based on the numbers of quarters they worked) to get Medicare if their kidneys fail. You can read about how to pay for dialysis in our free booklet on the Life Options website:

That said, any insurance that will pay for in-center treatment should pay for home treatment as well, and it’s often cheaper.

Hi Dori,

How are you? Fine I hope. The Social Security Office denied him Medicare because he does not have enough working units, but he worked for the post office for 17 years and at the airlines for 5 years, so I do not know. We are currently appealing his denial.

He receives a monthly soc. sec. check and Medicaid but not Medicare, and his bills are all paid by the medical card. Thanks for the website. I will contact you when I found out something more definitive. Thanks for your help and god bless you!

Vernie, if he gets a monthly Social Security check, he should qualify for Medicare. Beth is on vacation right now, and she’s our resident Medicare expert, but that’s my understanding of it.

Thanks Dori. Have a wonderful week-end.

I start pd week of July 7th and hope to go on prepaid vacation to Sitges, Spain (near Barcelona) on Sept 1. I am 70 and on medicare and have bcbs medex as my supplement. My concern is whether I will have insurance coverage for dialysis fluid while on vacation in Spain. I have heard that medicare only covers treatment in US and the territories but do not know if dialysis fluid is medication and distinguished from treatment for insurance coverage purposes. If not covered would like to know ball park estimate of what Baxter would charge to deliver it to my hotel. Also does medicare pay 80% of dialysis fluid cost and my supplemental insurance the balance?

Traveling overseas is a little dicey on dialysis. Medicare information says it does not pay for dialysis outside the US and its territories. Most patients who do hemodialysis must go to a clinic to get dialysis whereas peritoneal patients carry or have their supplies shipped to their home or travel destination, which is treated as a temporary “home,” Once you start on PD, I’d suggest you talk with your home training nurse, social worker or clinic billing staff about whether they can bill for PD while you’re gone and if not, how much it would cost for the time you’ll be gone. I’d also suggest you ask Baxter what you can expect to pay to get the supplies in Spain. According to this document on Baxter’s website, they have home delivery of PD supplies in Spain so it may be less costly than shipping from the US, but then there’s the question of how Baxter would bill your clinic for the suppies.

I’d plan to carry on some PD supplies and medications with you in case there’s a travel delay so you can avoid missing treatments. Take a signed prescription for the supplies with you and you might want to contact the airline beforehand so you don’t run in to problems at the airport. You may want to check out this article on Home Dialysis Central about traveling, which discusses traveling with the cycler or the transportable HD machine.

It is important to have contact information for a dialysis clinic in Spain where you could go if you have a problem with your catheter or get peritonitis? I would suggest that you check with Baxter or your home training nurse about how to find a clinic. Ask for copies of medical records to take with you, including your PD prescription, labs, x-rays, medication list, etc. Your clinic will know what to give you since it’s what they send for patients who travel on hemodialysis.