Press release

California Organ Donor Protection Bill Advances from Assembly Committee on Labor

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (April 3, 2019)  — American Kidney Fund (AKF)-supported legislation (AB 1223) to prohibit life, disability and long-term care insurers from discriminating against living organ donors was unanimously passed by the California Assembly Committee on Labor on Wednesday. The landmark legislation, which prevents insurers from denying living organ donors insurance or charging them higher premiums, was approved after moving testimony from California resident and kidney transplant recipient Darius Brown.

"Many Californians struggle with the very real impacts of kidney disease and are in need of transplants," said AKF director of state advocacy Melanie Kahn. "These important protections will ensure willing donors have the basic assurance that a compassionate, life-saving act won't cause their insurance premiums to skyrocket."

Roughly 94,436 Californians live with end-stage renal disease and only 1 in 8 California residents on the waiting list to receive a kidney transplant in 2018 received one. AKF provides financial assistance to many California residents who are on dialysis or patients who have undergone a life-saving kidney transplant.

"The friend who donated a kidney to me gave me the chance at a better life," said Brown during the committee meeting. "She and other living organ donors are generous people who selflessly choose to help someone in need. AB 1223 would provide common-sense protections for them and hopefully encourage others to also become living donors."

AB 1223 will now be referred to the Assembly Committee on 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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