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Wednesday
Apr292009

House Passes Workman’s Bill To Give Kidney Patients Access To Medical Coverage: HB 675 is known as the “Alonzo Mourning Access to Care Act”  

Florida House of Representatives
Ritch Workman
Representative, District 30

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact: Rob Feltner
April 27, 2009 (850) 488-9720

HOUSE PASSES WORKMAN’S BILL TO GIVE KIDNEY PATIENTS ACCESS TO MEDICAL COVERAGE

TALLAHASSEE – Legislation giving Florida’s most vulnerable kidney patients greater access to medical coverage was unanimously approved by the Florida House of Representatives today. House Bill (HB) 675, sponsored by Representative Ritch Workman (R-Melbourne), expands access to Medigap secondary insurance to Floridians under the age of 65.

HB 675 is known as the “Alonzo Mourning Access to Care Act” for the former Miami Heat player who is a kidney transplant recipient and patient advocate for individuals suffering from kidney disease and kidney failure. Mourning joined Representative Workman in the Florida Capitol last month to express his support for HB 675.

“For Floridians suffering from kidney disease, Medigap coverage will provide them with the coverage they need to have the opportunity to lead a healthy life,” said Representative Workman. “By passing this bill, the Florida House is giving these vulnerable patients the access to the care they so desperately need.”

HB 675 gives Florida end stage renal disease (ESRD) patients under the age of 65 access to Medigap coverage assistance. Under federal law, all Medicare beneficiaries over age 65 are already able to purchase this insurance as secondary coverage, which provides them with access to needed medical treatments, including kidney transplant, without cost being a barrier – and without having to “spend down” their income to become eligible for state Medicaid assistance, in many cases the only option for this population. Currently, 27 other states offer similar insurance solutions for ESRD patients.

The Senate companion to HB 675 is Senate Bill 1022, sponsored by Senator Thad Altman (R-Melbourne).

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