ROCKVILLE, Md. (June 3, 2021) — The American Kidney Fund (AKF) commends Maryland governor Larry Hogan for signing HB 10/SB 48, which offers additional protections for living organ donors in the state, into law. This important legislation will help living organ donors cover out-of-pocket expenses associated with their lifesaving organ donation.
HB 10/SB 48 increases the amount of tax credits living organ donors can claim for unreimbursed expenses from $7,500 to $10,000, and expands the definition of qualified expenses to include childcare, eldercare and medication costs.
"Governor Hogan's signature on this bill is significant in supporting living organ donors and removing the barriers to living organ donation in Maryland," said LaVarne A. Burton, AKF President and CEO. "We applaud the governor and the Maryland General Assembly for expanding tax credits for Marylanders, who should be encouraged to become living donors, not face hurdles that keep them from potentially saving someone's life."
AKF worked closely with Delegate Karen Young and Senator Ron Young to move these bills through the Maryland General Assembly. AKF has a robust public policy agenda that includes making more kidney transplants possible and is leading a nationwide effort to pass living donor protections both at the state and federal level. Since 2019, 17 states have signed into law living donor legislation spearheaded by AKF.
With a B grade on AKF's 2021 State of the States: Living Donor Protection Report Card, Maryland is one of the leaders in the nation when it comes to protecting living organ donors. This bill improves upon and strengthens the state's existing law to provide tax credits to living donors. Tax credits for living organ donors is one of the seven types of legislation states can enact to provide protections for living organ donors and encourage living donations that is measured by AKF's Report Card. In the absence of 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 overall grade average for the United States is a D.
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. Transplants from living donors generally have fewer complications than deceased-donor transplants and a longer survival of the donor organ.
There are more than 107,000 Americans on the organ transplant waiting list and nearly 93,000 of them, or 86%, are waiting for a kidney. Of the 23,644 kidney transplants performed in the U.S. in 2020, just 5,234 were made possible by living organ donors. In Maryland, 77 of 389 kidney transplants in 2020 were from living donors.
AKF provides long-term financial assistance that makes transplants and post-transplant care possible for low-income dialysis patients. In 2020, AKF grants helped 1,615 people nationwide receive kidney transplants — 7% 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 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.