Close

Kelli Collins, MSW

Kidney Failure and Medicare: What you should know

In 1972, Medicare benefits were extended to cover the high cost of medical care for most individuals suffering from permanent kidney failure also known as end-stage renal disease (ESRD). People whose kidneys have failed need dialysis or a kidney transplant to live. To this day, kidney failure is one of only two medical conditions that gives people the option to enroll in Medicare without a two-year waiting period, regardless of age. Because Medicare for people with ESRD was established separately and later, there are some specific rules around eligibility and coverage of Medicare for dialysis and transplant patients.