Financial Aspects of Living Donation
Each potential living donor has a unique financial and insurance situation, that’s why it is important to evaluate multiple options and considerations.
The transplant recipient’s insurance will cover your general expenses as a donor, such as the evaluation, surgery, and limited follow-up tests and medical appointments. However, the recipient’s insurance may not cover follow-up services for you if medical problems occur from the donation. Your own insurance may not cover these expenses either. Additionally, the recipient’s insurance coverage usually does not include transportation, lodging, long distance phone calls, childcare, or lost wages.
Further, all transplant centers must turn in follow-up forms on living donors for two years after the donation surgery. Generally, anything that falls outside of the transplant center's donor evaluation is not covered. It is important to ask your transplant team about the costs of follow-up care. These costs could include annual physicals, travel, lodging, lost wages and other non-medical expenses. Although it is against the law to pay a living donor for the organ, these costs may be covered by the recipient.
If you work, talk with your employer about any existing leave policies before committing to a living donation. Also, fully think about the financial impact on your family, especially if you and/or whoever serves as your caregiver during the donation recovery process may face lost wages and personal hardship.
Be sure to check your specific insurance policy or ask the Kidney Transplant Center’s financial coordinator about financial concerns related to your specific circumstances. They may have resources available for you.
The Impact of Being a Living Donor on Future Insurability
The ability to obtain health and life insurance coverage after you have become a living donor is not restricted by most insurance companies, but your premiums could increase. However, there have been some instances in which living donors had difficulty changing insurance carriers after the donation, due to higher premiums or a pre-existing waiting period, and some donors have reported difficulty in getting, affording, or keeping health, disability, or life insurance. If you do not have health insurance, serving as a donor could be considered a pre-existing condition if you apply for insurance later.
It is important to talk to the financial counselor and social worker at the Kidney Transplant Center to find out if the donation will affect your health or life insurance coverage.
For Additional Information
If you have a question about Living Donor transplants at Crozer Health, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 610-619-8420.