From the New York Times’ Well blog:
When Erika Royer’s lupus led to kidney failure four years ago, her father, Radburn, was able to give her an extraordinary gift: a kidney.
Ms. Royer, now 31, regained her kidney function, no longer needs dialysis and has been able to return to work. But because of his donation, her father, a physically active 53-year-old, has been unable to obtain private health insurance.
Like most other kidney donors, Mr. Royer, a retired teacher in Eveleth, Minn., was carefully screened and is in good health. But Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota rejected his application for coverage last year, as well as his appeals, on the grounds that he has chronic kidney disease, even though many people live with one kidney and his nephrologist testified that his kidney is healthy. Mr. Royer was also unable to purchase life insurance. . . .
There is little data on how often kidney donors have trouble obtaining insurance, but advocates say the fear of being uninsurable may be a powerful deterrent to donation. A 2006 study done by an advocacy organization for transplant professionals found that 39 percent of transplant centers reported that they had had eligible donors who declined to donate because they feared having future insurance problems.
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