Democratic Representative Gilda Cobb-Hunter of Orangeburg is pushing for passage of the Medigap bill. Republican Senator Harvey Peeler submitted legislation in the Senate that would do the same. The bill passed the Finance Committee but was objected to on the Senate floor.
Cobb-Hunter says Medigap would provide supplemental insurance to approximately 4500 dialysis patients statewide, and many others with other medical conditions, supplying coverage not provided by Medicare.
Currently patients have the option of purchasing similar coverage from private insurance companies for approximately $800-$1000 per month. The Medigap coverage would be less than half of that, for better coverage, at $300-$500 per month.
Cobb-Hunter says low-income residents can’t afford the private insurance.
Ann Jones of Columbia appeared with Cobb-Hunter. Jones is waiting for a kidney transplant, but says she can’t afford insurance to cover the transplant surgery. Jones says her renal condition has changed her life for the worst and she wants some quality of life back.
Cobb-Hunter said that 31 states offer Medigap insurance. She disagrees with the argument against Medigap from insurance companies.