General Assembly passes bill to lower age for medicare policies

State House Rhode Island 2

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — The General Assembly passed a bill Thursday that would extend the availability for Medicare supplement policies to people eligible under 65.

The bill would require Medicare supplement policies in Rhode Island to be offered to all patients eligible for Medicare by reason of disability, regardless of age.

Currently, the policies is guaranteed by federal law to people 65 and older only.

The bill, backed by House Speaker Brian Patrick Kennedy, said this bill could be a matter of life or death to some patients.

“Nearly 50 percent of dialysis patients in Rhode Island are under 65 and without a Medicare Supplement plan many patients are ineligible for a transplant because they are considered “under-insured.” Since a kidney transplant is the best treatment for those with end-stage renal disease, this legislation could be a lifesaver,” he said.

The bill now goes to the governors desk.

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