Press release

American Kidney Fund Applauds New Hampshire for Passing Living Donor Protection Legislation

AKF commends New Hampshire for making living organ donor protections state law

ROCKVILLE, Md. (June 18, 2024) – The American Kidney Fund (AKF) lauds New Hampshire for making living organ donor protections state law with HB 1155, signed on June 14 by Gov. Chris Sununu. The legislation will go into effect on July 1 and prohibits life, disability and long-term care insurers from discriminating against living organ donors by declining to insure them, imposing restrictions on their coverage or requiring them to pay a different rate or premium solely because of their status as a living organ donor. 

The bill was authored and sponsored by state Rep. Jose Cambrils. AKF worked closely with Cambrils on the bill's language, testified in favor of the bill, met with the insurance commissioner and conducted grassroots efforts to garner support for the legislation. As a result of enacting HB 1155, New Hampshire is the 35th stateto guarantee these important protections for living organ donors, thanks to AKF's leadership.

"People who give the gift of life by donating an organ should be celebrated and supported, not face difficulties when it comes to obtaining the insurance they need," said LaVarne A. Burton, AKF President and CEO. "As a kidney transplant recipient himself, we deeply appreciate Rep. Cambrils' commitment to ensuring other people can receive the same lifesaving gift, and we are thankful to everyone who mobilized in support of this legislation. Their advocacy will lessen the burden placed on people who wish to become living organ donors, and in turn save lives." 

"It has been an honor and a privilege to have sponsored NH HB 1155, 'The New Hampshire Living Donor Protection Act,' and watch it become law in our great state," Cambrils said. "This law will remove a major barrier that potential living organ donors must currently consider. It is good news for those that are still on organ transplant waiting lists."

Increasing living donor protections is an integral part of AKF's policy agenda. AKF's State of the States: Living Donor Protection Report Card annually measures seven types of legislation states should enact to provide protections for living organ donors and encourage living donations. Without federal legislation to protect living donors, there is an uneven patchwork of protections across the nation, with some states providing no protections at all. The average grade for the U.S. is a C. With HB 1155 signed into law, New Hampshire's grade improves from an F to a D. 

Most transplanted organs are from deceased donors, but patients may also receive organs from living donors. Living donation offers an excellent alternative for individuals awaiting transplantation from a deceased donor and increases the existing organ supply. Transplants from living donors generally present fewer complicationsthan deceased donor transplants and living donor organs typically survive longer than deceased donor organs.

Over 103,000 Americans are currently on the organ transplant waiting list and over 91,000 of them, or 88%, are waiting for a kidney. In New Hampshire, over 170 people are currently on the kidney transplant waiting list. Of the 28,144 kidney transplants performed in the U.S. in 2023, more than 1 in 4 – 6,290 – were made possible by living organ donors. In New Hampshire, 15 of the 27 kidney transplants performed in 2023 were from living donors. 

AKF provides long-term financial assistance that makes transplants and post-transplant care possible for low-income dialysis patients. In 2023, AKF grants helped 1,615 people nationwide receive kidney transplants — roughly 6% of all kidney transplants performed in the United States last year. AKF's program helps post-transplant patients for their full insurance plan year, ensuring continuity of care.

About the American Kidney Fund

The American Kidney Fund (AKF) fights kidney disease on all fronts as the nonprofit with the greatest direct impact on people with kidney disease. AKF works on behalf of 1 in 7 Americans living with kidney disease, and the millions more at risk, with an unmatched scope of programs that support people wherever they are in their fight against kidney disease—from prevention through transplant. AKF fights for kidney health for all through programs that address early detection, disease management, financial assistance, clinical research, innovation and advocacy. AKF is one of the nation’s top-rated nonprofits, investing 97 cents of every donated dollar in programs, and holds the highest 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator for 21 consecutive years and the Platinum Seal of Transparency from Candid, formerly known as GuideStar. 

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