American Kidney Fund Commends Kansas Legislature, Governor on Enacting Protection for Living Organ Donors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HB 2041 prevents life insurance discrimination against living donors

ROCKVILLE, Md. (April 24, 2019) — The American Kidney Fund (AKF), the nation’s leading nonprofit working on behalf of the 30 million Americans living with kidney disease, applauds the passage of Kansas HB 2041 into law with its signing by Gov. Laura Kelly. The law could help increase the availability of organs for transplant from living donors.

AKF is grateful to all of Kansas’ lawmakers who voted overwhelmingly in support of living organ donation. HB 2041 will prohibit life insurance companies from denying or limiting coverage and from charging higher premiums for living organ donors.

Most transplanted organs are from deceased donors, but patients may also receive organs from living donors. Living donation offers an alternative for individuals awaiting transplantation from a deceased donor and increases the existing organ supply. Kidneys are the most common organ transplanted from living donors, followed by liver and lung.

More than 6,400 living-donor kidney transplants were performed last year in the United States, including 43 in Kansas. 

Prohibiting insurers from discriminating against living donors is sound public policy backed up by research which has shown that people who donate a kidney live just as long as similarly healthy people who have both kidneys. In fact, a person may only donate a kidney if he or she is in excellent health.

Nationwide, 114,000 Americans are on the waiting list for organ transplants, including about 97,000 who are waiting for a kidney. In Kansas, 310 people are on the kidney transplant waiting list.

“We applaud Governor Kelly and the Kansas legislature for adding Kansas to a growing list of states that have recognized the importance of removing barriers to living organ donation,” said LaVarne A. Burton, president and chief executive officer of the American Kidney Fund. “Encouraging living donation that could increase the supply of kidneys for Americans living with end-stage renal disease isn’t just a humanitarian gesture; it’s also smart fiscal policy.”

AKF provides long-term financial assistance that makes transplants and post-transplant care possible for low-income dialysis patients. In 2018, AKF helped more than 1,000 people nationwide have transplants, including 13 in Kansas. AKF’s program helps post-transplant patients for their full insurance plan year, ensuring continuity of care.

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About the American Kidney Fund

As the nation’s leading independent nonprofit working on behalf of the 30 million Americans with kidney disease, the American Kidney Fund is dedicated to ensuring that every kidney patient has access to health care, and that every person at risk for kidney disease is empowered to prevent it. AKF provides a complete spectrum of programs and services: prevention outreach, top-rated health educational resources, and direct financial assistance enabling the nation’s low-income dialysis and transplant patients to access lifesaving medical care. AKF holds the highest ratings from the nation’s charity watchdog groups, including Charity Navigator, which includes AKF on its “top 10” list of nonprofits with the longest track records of outstanding stewardship of the donated dollar, and GuideStar, which has awarded AKF its Platinum Seal of Transparency.

For more information, please visit KidneyFund.org, or connect with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.