NBA All-Star Alonzo Mourning to Visit South Carolina Legislature to Urge Needed Coverage for State's Kidney Patients and Disabled

Mar 22, 2010, 13:53 ET from National Kidney Foundation of South Carolina

Mourning to Join the National Kidney Foundation Serving the Carolinas, South Carolina Region, and Area Patients in Asking for Access to Medigap Secondary Insurance to Improve Kidney Patients and Disabled People's Health, Safeguard their Families, and Reduce the Burden on South Carolina Taxpayers

COLUMBIA, S.C., March 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Wednesday, March 24, former Miami Heat stand-out and NBA Defensive Player of the Year Alonzo Mourning, who is also a kidney transplant recipient, will participate in numerous meetings at the South Carolina State House to ask lawmakers to pass key legislation this year that could help hundreds of South Carolina's kidney failure patients and thousands of disabled people statewide who are struggling to access health insurance for the medical care they need.

Medigap legislation – S 1128 and H 4552 – would provide the opportunity for hundreds of South Carolina end stage renal disease (ESRD) patients and thousands of disabled people under the age of 65 to access Medigap coverage.  Under current federal law, all Medicare beneficiaries over the age of 65 are already able to purchase this insurance as secondary coverage, which provides them with access to needed medical treatments, including kidney transplants, without cost being a barrier – and without having to "spend down" their income to become eligible for state Medicaid assistance.  Mourning will ask lawmakers that this same coverage option be extended to South Carolina's kidney patients and disabled people under age 65.

WHO: Former NBA-All Star Alonzo Mourning

Beth Irick, Division President, National Kidney Foundation Serving the Carolinas, South Carolina Region

Supportive lawmakers

South Carolina kidney patients who would benefit from access to Medigap

WHAT: Statewide press briefing with Alonzo Mourning on the need to enact Medigap legislation to improve kidney patients' and disabled people's access to insurance coverage for life-saving medical care

WHEN: Wednesday, March 24

1:15 p.m.

**Media availability for one-on-one interviews to immediately follow.

WHERE: South Carolina State Capitol Rotunda

Columbia, SC

CONTACT: On site: Ellen Almond, (202) 271-0234 (cell) or

Following the press briefing, Mourning will tour a local dialysis facility – FMC Midtown Dialysis (1301 Taylor Street, Suite 4-M) – at 3:30 to meet with area patients and caregivers.  Media are also invited to attend.  For more information, call Ellen Almond at (202) 271-0234.

Come meet Alonzo and area kidney patients in need of Medigap access.  Learn why this legislation is good for patients, good for taxpayers and good for South Carolina.

SOURCE National Kidney Foundation of South Carolina