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Online learning resources for diabetes, asthma, hypertension, and nutrition.
Diabetes 101: Learn more about diabetes, managing your blood sugar levels, and your diet.
Diabetes 201: Learn more about diabetes, managing your blood sugars, and your diet.
Asthma 101: Learn more about asthma and dealing with shortness of breath.
Hypertension 101: Learn more about hypertension and managing your blood pressure.
Nutrition 101: Learn more about improving your nutrition and diet

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Diabetes Library: Complications

End Stage Renal Disease Treatment


It's not always easy to decide which type of treatment is best for you. Your decision depends on your medical condition, lifestyle, and personal likes and dislikes. Discuss the pros and cons of each with your health care team. If you start one form of treatment and decide you'd like to try another, talk it over with your doctor. The key is to learn as much as you can about your choices. With that knowledge, you and your doctor will choose a treatment that suits you best.

Paying for treatment

Treatment for ESRD is expensive, but the Federal Government helps pay for much of the cost. Often, private insurance or state programs pay the rest.


Medicare pays for 80 percent of the cost of your dialysis treatments or transplant, no matter how old you are. To qualify you must have worked long enough to be insured under Social Security (or be the child of someone who has) or you already must be receiving Social Security benefits.

You should apply for Medicare as soon as possible after beginning dialysis. Often, a social worker at your hospital or dialysis center will help you apply.

Private Insurance

Private insurance often pays for the entire cost of treatment. Or it may pay for the 20 percent that Medicare does not cover. Private insurance also may pay for your prescription drugs.


Medicaid is a state program. Your income must be below a certain level to receive Medicaid funds. Medicaid may pay for your treatments if you cannot receive Medicare. In some states, it also pays the 20 percent that Medicare does not cover. It also may pay for some of your medicines.

To apply for Medicaid, talk with your social worker or contact your local health department.

Veterans Administration (VA) Benefits

If you are a veteran, the VA can help pay for treatment. Contact your local VA office for more information.

Social Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI)

These benefits are available from the Social Security Administration. They assist you with the costs of daily living. To find out if you qualify, talk to your social worker or call your local Social Security office.

Organizations That Can Help

There are several groups that offer information and services to kidney patients. You may wish to contact the following:

American Kidney Fund
Suite 1010
6110 Executive Boulevard
Rockville, MD 20852
(800) 638-8299

American Association of Kidney Patients
100 S. Ashley Drive
Suite 280
Tampa, FL 33602
(800) 749-2257
E-mail: AAKPnat@aol.com
Home page: www.aakp.org

National Kidney Foundation, Inc.
30 East 33rd Street
New York, NY 10016
(800) 622-9010

National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse
3 Information Way
Bethesda, MD 20892-3560
E-mail: nkudic@info.niddk.nih.

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