American Kidney Fund Commends Maryland Governor Hogan for Signing Living Organ Donor Protections into Law


HB1284/SB705 prevents insurance discrimination and guarantees job-protected leave to living donors

ROCKVILLE, Md. (May 13, 2019)—The American Kidney Fund (AKF) commends Maryland Governor Larry Hogan for signing into law important protections for living organ donors that could help make more organs available for Maryland residents waiting for transplants. The law prevents insurance companies from discriminating against living organ donors by charging higher premiums or refusing to insure them altogether, and also provides job protected leave through the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to people who chose to make this lifesaving gift.

AKF is grateful to Delegate Eric Luedtke and Senator Brian Feldman for sponsoring HB1284/SB705, and for their work in getting it through the legislature and onto the governor’s desk. Earlier this year, AKF president and CEO LaVarne A. Burton and AKF employee Shayla Harris—the recipient of a kidney donated by her sister—testified in Annapolis in support of this important legislation.

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. More than 6,400 living-donor kidney transplants were performed last year in the United States, including 170 in Maryland.  Kidneys are the most common organ transplanted from living donors, followed by liver and lung.

Nationwide, more than 114,000 Americans are on the waiting list for organ transplants, including nearly 97,000 who are waiting for a kidney. In Maryland, 2,500 people are on the kidney transplant waiting list.

“Governor Hogan’s signature on this bill is an important step that helps remove barriers that can prevent Maryland residents from considering being living organ donors, and we are grateful to him for his support,” Burton said. “We applaud the governor and the legislature for recognizing that living organ donors deserve more than our gratitude and giving them protections under the law.”

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.

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