FSSA will maintain Medicaid coverage for 360 kidney transplant patients

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We now know which kidney transplant patients across the state will get to stay on the national transplant list, despite changes to Indiana's Medicaid rules.

13 Investigates reporter Sandra Chapman has a copy of a letter going out to patients and providers on Friday. It’s good news for 360 end-stage renal disease patients across the state who were set to lose their Medicaid this Sunday.

Indiana's Family and Social Services Administration now confirms it has the approval of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to continue coverage for end-stage renal transplant patients. It means their Medicaid will remain effective and they will maintain their status on the kidney transplant list.This group of 360 must be eligible for Medicare and have incomes more than $17,505 individually or $35,775 for a family of four.

It appears Paulette Gardner, a patient who spoke exclusively to 13 Investigates about this life-impacting dilemma, could get to keep her status on the transplant list. Paulette said she has end-stage renal disease and her income falls within the limits. She also is eligible for Medicare drug discounts. She told 13 Investigates she is thankful the state has stepped in to take action.

There are still many questions. The FSSA says it will begin answering patient questions on Monday.

FSSA Letter to Patients and Providers:

We are writing to update you on the situation involving end-stage renal disease patients who are being transitioned off of the Medicaid spend down program when it is discontinued in Indiana effective June 1.

The state is actively engaged with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on an immediate solution that will provide continuous coverage to the approximately 360 individuals impacted to ensure those patients can maintain their status on the kidney transplant lists. Medicaid coverage for these individuals will continue effective immediately.

We would appreciate any assistance you can provide in reaching out to these patients and their primary caregivers. This pertains only to individuals with end-stage renal disease who are eligible for Medicare and have incomes over 150 percent of the federal poverty level ($17,505 annually for an individual and $35,775 for a family of four) as it is this specific group that has no other options for coverage.

The state will also be in touch with these individuals by mail in the very near future about the new program under which they will maintain coverage, but since these official notifications won't reach these patients until after June 1, your cooperation in helping update these patients and their caregivers is greatly appreciated.

Beginning Monday, questions can be directed to FSSA at 800-403-0864.