What if I have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)?

If you have ESRD, you'll usually get your health care through 

Original Medicare

. You can only join a 

Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C)

 in certain situations, like these:

  • You're already in a Medicare Advantage Plan when you develop ESRD. You may be able to stay in your plan or join another plan offered by the same company.
  • You’re already getting your health benefits (for example, through an employer health plan) through the same organization that offers the Medicare Advantage Plan.
  • You had ESRD, but have had a successful kidney transplant, and you still qualify for Medicare benefits (based on your age or a disability). You can stay in Original Medicare, or join a Medicare Advantage Plan.
  • You may be able to join a Medicare Special Needs Plan (SNP) for people with ESRD if one is available in your area.

 You have a one-time right to join another plan if both of these are true:

  • You have ESRD and are in a Medicare Advantage Plan
  • The plan leaves Medicare or no longer provides coverage in your area

You don't have to use your one-time right to join a new plan immediately.

If you go directly to Original Medicare after your plan leaves or stops providing coverage, you'll still have a one-time right to join a Medicare Advantage Plan later.