March is National Kidney Month, and March 11, 2021 is World Kidney Day. The theme for this year’s World Kidney Day is Living Well with Kidney Disease, aimed toward increasing education and awareness about effective symptom management and patient empowerment, with the ultimate goal of encouraging life participation. Find our more at https://www.worldkidneyday.org/2021-campaign/. This year’s National Kidney Month is focused around taking charge of your health and the many factors that go into managing your kidney disease. Find out more about National Kidney Month at https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/community-health-outreach/national-kidney-month.
CMS has announced a Special COVID-19 Open Enrollment Period for people having difficulty finding health insurance, spanning February 15-May 15, 2021. For details see https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/2021-special-enrollment-period-response-covid-19-emergency. Rules and procedures can be very complicated. Your dialysis facility Social Worker may be able to provide help or direct you to other assistance. You can also connect to free detailed, unbiased advice on navigating the health insurance labyrinth, tailored to your specific situation, from a trained expert in health insurance options, rules, and procedures, at https://www.shiptacenter.org/.
Rules and procedures also vary by state; a quick overview for the six states in ESRD Networks 16 and 18 follows:
Alaska: For details see https://www.healthinsurance.org/alaska-state-health-insurance-exchange/. No apparent Special COVID-19 Open Enrollment Period, but a “qualifying event” (https://www.healthinsurance.org/obamacare/qualifying-events-that-can-get-you-coverage/) may create one for you.
California: For details see https://www.healthinsurance.org/california-state-health-insurance-exchange/. State-specific Special COVID-19 Open Enrollment Period February 1-May 15, 2021.
Idaho: For general details, see https://www.healthinsurance.org/idaho-state-health-insurance-exchange/. No Special COVID-19 Open Enrollment Period, but some insurance plans are open all year (https://www.healthinsurance.org/idaho-short-term-health-insurance/#renew), and if you have a “qualifying event” (https://www.healthinsurance.org/obamacare/qualifying-events-that-can-get-you-coverage/), you can enroll anytime.
Montana: For details see https://www.healthinsurance.org/montana-state-health-insurance-exchange/. No apparent Special COVID-19 Open Enrollment Period, but a “qualifying event” (https://www.healthinsurance.org/obamacare/qualifying-events-that-can-get-you-coverage/) will create one just for you.
Oregon: For details see https://www.healthinsurance.org/oregon-state-health-insurance-exchange/. No apparent Special COVID-19 Open Enrollment Period, but a “qualifying event” (https://www.healthinsurance.org/obamacare/qualifying-events-that-can-get-you-coverage/), including loss of employer-sponsored health insurance, can create one just for you.
Washington: For details see https://www.healthinsurance.org/washington-state-health-insurance-exchange/. Special COVID-19 Open Enrollment Period February 15-May 15, 2021.
AAKP will present an 18 November 2020 HealthLine webinar on Bringing Lupus Nephritis out of the Shadows. Register at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/5772024139670617614 and find more information about AAKP HealthLine, including recordings of past events, at https://aakp.org/programs-and-events/aakp-healthline/.
Many concerns loom over traveling and congregating for holiday events and celebrations while the COVID-19 pandemic is expanding rapidly – for some Network states, peak numbers of daily confirmed new cases are running several times higher than they were in the summer.* AAKP will present a free November 17, 2020 webinar on COVID-19: Kidney Patient Planning for a Safe Holiday Season. The webinar will cover what high risk, immune compromised individuals – such as kidney patients – can do to remain safe while still being able to enjoy the holidays. Register at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6197870490714912781. Find more information about AAKP HealthLine, and recordings of previous webinars, at https://aakp.org/programs-and-events/aakp-healthline/.
The Renal Support Network has been offering its free Annual Patient Education Meeting for kidney patients and their families in the Los Angeles area for 27 years. With COVID-19 complicating things this year, RSN did what only Lori Hartwell could have imagined doing – they went global and online, and made it five times as big! So this year, RSN Hope Week will span November 10-14, 2020 with a different theme each day: CKD on day 1, Dialysis on day 2, Transplant on day 3, All Stages of Care on day 4, and Parenting Children with CKD on day 5.
Find RSN’s press release introducing the week at https://www.rsnhope.org/press-releases/renal-support-networks-27th-annual-patient-education-meeting-goes-virtual/. Find a short version of the agenda below. It’s page 1 of their flyer, which includes a full page describing each day – find the full 6-page flyer HERE. Find brief vitae and snapshots of the full faculty at https://www.rsnhope.org/hope-week-faculty/. And register at https://www.rsnhope.org/hope-week-rsns-national-online-patient-meeting/ – there’s also a short version of the agenda on that page.
Dialysis Patient Citizens will present an 11am PST November 19, 2020 webinar on Looking Out for the Caregiver: Understanding the People Who Care for Dialysis Patients. For details see below. Register at https://www.dpcedcenter.org/news-events/education-webinars/signup/?bblinkid=244466063&bbemailid=25295695&bbejrid=1697677768.
DPC will also host 11am PST webinars on Coping with the Holidays December 17, 2020; Advance Directives & Shared Decision-Making January 28, 2021; Nutrition and Exercise for the Immune System February 25, 2021; and The Empowered Patient: Taking Steps to Manage Diabetes and Chronic Kidney Disease March 25, 2021.
Dialysis Patient Citizens will present a September 24, 2020 Spanish-language webinar on Manejando Mi Glucosa En Sangre Cuando Tengo Enfermedad Renal (Managing My Blood Glucose When I Have Kidney Disease), covering carbohydrates and their effect on blood glucose, how much carbs to eat, and how to avoid high and low blood glucose extremes. Find more information below, and register for this and future DPC webinars at https://www.dpcedcenter.org/news-events/education-webinars/.
Upcoming DPC webinars include:
- Things to Know About Medicare Advantage’s First Open Enrollment for Dialysis Patients – October 22, 2020,
- Looking Out for the Caregiver: Understanding the People Who Care for Dialysis Patients – November 19, 2020,
- Coping with the Holidays – December 17, 2020.
Puget Sound Kidney Centers will present a series of six free online classes on Chronic Kidney Disease Stages 2-4, Wednesdays from September 9 to October 14, 2020, called Survive and Thrive 2020. Without treatment and/or a change in lifestyle, especially diet and exercise, CKD Stage 2 often progresses to Stages 3 and 4. These classes will teach how to manage CKD to hopefully slow or even reverse its progression. For details and registration, see below:
UCLA CORE Kidney will present a free August 16, 2020 Kidney Disease: What You Should Know webinar for patients, families, and others, on how to manage kidney disease. RSVP to COREKidney@mednet.ucla.edu. For details see below: