Articles and Information

TN Seniors With Kidney Disease Need To Know Medicare Open Enrollment Is Here

Beneficiaries can change coverage through Dec. 7

Tennessee’s 977,300 Medicare beneficiaries need to know that they can adjust Medicare coverage now through Dec. 7.

The Tennessee Kidney Foundation (TKF) cares about Medicare Open Enrollment because, with 500,000 Tennesseans, or about 7.5 percent of our state population, at risk of chronic kidney disease, that means approximately 70,000 of Tennessee’s Medicare beneficiaries struggle with kidney disease. 

Despite its prevalence, this disease remains largely misunderstood and challenging to live with. Dietary implications, numerous medications, time-intensive dialysis treatments and more mean that Tennessee kidney patients, especially our seniors, need uninterrupted access to care.

Medicare Open Enrollment is particularly important for kidney patients because of the serious role prescription medications play in their treatment. It is not uncommon for kidney patients to take up to 25 pills per day, making it absolutely essential that these patients have access to prescription drug coverage via Medicare Part D, and that they take advantage of Open Enrollment to sign up for and/or compare available coverage options.

Kidney patients who miss their medications or treatments risk incurring high-cost treatments. In fact, if one kidney patient misses a dialysis treatment, the cost of the resulting hospitalization is astronomical in comparison.

These are just a few of the many reasons our team works daily to ensure kidney patients receive the access, transportation and education they need to stay on top of or prevent this disease. This time of year, that work means making sure Tennessee’s seniors living with kidney disease know that now is the time to revisit their Medicare and Medicare Part D coverage.

If you’re like us and want to make sure Tennessee patients have access to essential treatment, there are two things you can do right now: 1) email your representative and senators to tell them you support protecting Medicare and Medicare Part D; and 2) engage with TKF by signing up for our emails, following us on social media and, of course, donating to TKF today.