The state of Oregon is currently proposing a policy to allow health plans to effectively put a two year waiting period on covering organ and bone marrow transplants unless the patient had prior insurance coverage. This policy would apply to plans sold through Cover Oregon, the state’s health insurance marketplace established under the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare), and other non-group health plans sold to Oregon residents. We need your help to stop this policy from being implemented.
This policy would effectively mean that people living in Oregon, who are currently uninsured, may have to wait two years after enrolling in health insurance before the health plan will pay for the transplant. If someone had previous health insurance, with no more than a 63 day gap in coverage, this would count towards the two year waiting period, reducing or eliminating it as long as the prior plan covered transplants. The National Kidney Foundation has been a supporter of the Affordable Care Act as we believe it will promote better access to healthcare. We are disappointed to learn of Oregon’s proposal to restrict access to transplants. We believe it is a violation of the Affordable Care Act and if implemented, would discriminate against individuals with organ failure.
NKF and our volunteers in Oregon are working to encourage the Oregon Insurance Division to prevent this policy from being implemented. In addition, we are working at the national level to engage those at the Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIO) office, which is responsible for overseeing implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The goal is to ensure that other states do not adopt similar discriminatory policies. However, while we work on this issue, we urge everyone to be cautious and compare plan benefits before enrolling. If you’re shopping for health insurance and you are at risk or you have kidney disease or a family history, definitely be sure to ask about transplant and dialysis coverage.