Press release

American Kidney Fund Commends Introduction of Federal Living Donor Protection Act of 2023

H.R. 2923 and S. 1384, which would ensure donors have access to needed insurance and job protections, is introduced during Donate Life Month


ROCKVILLE, MD (April 28, 2023) — The American Kidney Fund (AKF) strongly supports the introduction of the federal Living Donor Protection Act of 2023 (H.R. 2923 and S. 1384), which would ensure crucial job protections for living organ donors and certify that insurance companies cannot decline or limit specific insurance coverage due to their status as a living organ donor.

The bipartisan legislation, previously introduced in 2021, 2019, and 2017, 2016, and 2014, bars insurers from denying or canceling coverage, refusing to issue coverage, changing the price of coverage, or otherwise altering any condition of a life insurance, disability or long-term care insurance policy for a person based solely because they donated an organ.

While AKF's third annual State of the States: Living Donor Protection Report Card released earlier this year shows progress in achieving protections for living organ donors, it also highlights the stark disparities in protections between the 50 states and the District of Columbia, and emphasizes the need for baseline federal legislation that would shield donors from discrimination regardless of where they live.

"By passing the Living Donor Protection Act of 2023, Congress would reduce the barriers people face in becoming living donors and giving an organ to someone in need," said LaVarne A. Burton, President and CEO of the American Kidney Fund. "This legislation would save lives. I want to thank our champions in Congress for introducing this important bill on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of people living with kidney failure in the U.S. and their loved ones." 

The Living Donor Protection Act was introduced April 27 by Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Rep. Troy Balderson (R-OH), Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA), Rep. John Curtis (R-UT), Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA) and Rep. Gregory F. Murphy (R-NC), joined by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR).

The demand for living kidney donors is great, with approximately 87% of the nearly 104,000 people on the national transplant waiting list seeking a kidney. On average, 13 Americans die every day waiting for a kidney transplant. Receiving a kidney from a living donor is the healthiest and safest option for the tens of thousands of people on the transplant waitlist.

In addition to prohibiting denial of coverage or increase in premiums of life or disability insurance for living organ donors, the Living Donor Protection Act of 2023 would ensure that living organ donors have Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) protections so they can take time off work to donate a kidney and recover from the surgery without fear of losing their job. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued an opinion letter in 2018 which stated that organ donation is protected under FMLA. The Living Donor Protection Act would codify the DOL opinion, protecting under federal statute those living donors whose employers are covered under FMLA.

The bill would also require that within six months after enactment, the Secretary of Health and Human Services review and update materials related to living organ donation in order to educate the public on the benefits and risks of living organ donation and the impact of living organ donation on the access of a living organ donor to insurance.

About the American Kidney Fund

The American Kidney Fund (AKF) fights kidney disease on all fronts as the nation’s leading kidney nonprofit. AKF works on behalf of the 37 million 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. With programs that address early detection, disease management, financial assistance, clinical research, innovation and advocacy, no kidney organization impacts more lives than AKF. One of the nation’s top-rated nonprofits, AKF invests 97 cents of every donated dollar in programs, earning the highest 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator for 20 years in a row as well as the Platinum Seal of Transparency from Candid, formerly GuideStar.

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