Look into social work services
All kidney patients in Alberta have access to social work services. Social workers give short-term counselling, help you plan your before and after transplant care, help you find support services, and work with your healthcare team to make sure your needs are met.
You will have a transplant social worker on your transplant team after the transplant. You can also contact the transplant social worker if you have transplant-related questions while you wait for a transplant.
Extra health insurance
Most of the medicines that weaken your immune system (called immunosuppressants) to help prevent rejection are covered through your Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan. The transplant team will arrange for you to get these medicines from one of the hospital-based outpatient pharmacies in Calgary or Edmonton.
There are other medicines you’ll need to take to help manage your transplant that aren’t covered through your provincial health plan. If you do not have the right type of insurance, you will need to pay for these medicines yourself.
To help manage the cost of your medicines, we recommend that you have extra health insurance outside of your provincial health plan. You may already have coverage for your medicines through a group plan at your work or one you buy on your own through an insurance carrier in Alberta. Having another form of health insurance can help you manage costs and avoid high, unexpected costs at the time of your transplant.
If you have trouble getting coverage for your medicines, please talk to your social worker and your transplant team. Your team can work with you to help you get your coverage or find other ways to help pay for your medicines. Never skip your medicines to help lower your costs. Talk to your transplant team and let them help you find a way to cover the costs of your medicines.
Learn about your health insurance plan
Take time to learn how your health insurance plan works and what is covered. You may want to ask:
- What are the benefits and what is covered for care after your transplant?
- Is there a yearly maximum amount for the cost of medicines that are included under the plan? (This helps you know if once you reach a certain amount if you have to cover the costs of your medicines above this amount).
- Is there anything that will prevent me from getting services or limit the benefits on my plan?
- Does the plan only cover me for a certain amount of time or up to a certain age?