Guest column: Medicare Advantage helps patients recover

  • Wednesday, November 3, 2021 5:15pm
  • Opinion

By David Hall, The Transplant Recipients International Organization Northwest

Undergoing surgery is a difficult process in and of itself for anyone going through it. At the Transplant Recipients International Organization, we work to improve the quality of life for transplant candidates, recipients, and their families, as well as the families of organ and tissue donors. We try to work with all Washington’s patients even those who come from the most vulnerable circumstances. One of those groups is the senior community, who face additional challenges in receiving transplant surgery due to their more fragile health and often limited financials.

Transplant surgery is an expensive endeavor, as it involves pre-op visits, the surgery itself, and oftentimes, extensive post-op recovery care. This can result in high price tag hospital bills, which would be startling for any patient. Seniors, however, face the additional hurdle of being on fixed and limited incomes, leaving less room for an expensive surgery.

Thanks to Medicare Advantage, enrolled seniors don’t have to worry about expending their savings to have a necessary procedure. With capped out-of-pocket costs and low premiums, Medicare Advantage ensures that any health care need a senior has can be met, all while remaining in budget. Not only does having a good Medicare Advantage plan alleviate stress immediately after surgery by covering most costs, but the program also connects seniors with benefits and services that assist them in the recovery process.

Medicare Advantage plans can cover the cost of transportation to and from appointments, set up in-home and companion care services, as well as provide coordinated care and disease management. This array of benefits helps seniors to feel supported all the way through the recovery process. Which is incredibly important for transplant patients.

There are few programs that provide such full-service coverage at a highly manageable cost. Medicare Advantage stands out among health care options as the best way to ensure seniors receive the care we deserve.

We are grateful for Senator Murray, Representative Schrier and Strickland’s support and work on meeting the health care needs of seniors. We hope all will continue that effort by supporting Medicare Advantage and transplant patients. Lastly, please consider becoming an organ donor. A single organ donor can save up to eight people’s lives. An organ donation saved mine.

David Hall is an Eastside resident, a writer and journalist and was hard at work at Microsoft in 1999 when his transplant journey began. Now he is the Executive Director of TRIO NW and works tirelessly to educate the public on health issues and advocate for seniors & patients.


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