Donating a kidney is a selfless act and it is going to save a life.
But even before the Affordable Care Act, it had pitfalls if you wanted to add or change health insurance. In the future, the only option could be state Medicare programs, which many doctors are refusing to accept now. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, insurance companies can no longer refuse health insurance to live kidney donors or charge them a higher insurance rate. But, as with 'If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor', the rules may change at any time, making donors stuck with nothing but government programs and the inability to get an appointment.
And insurance companies clearly penalize donors and have done so for decades.
Yet there is no evidence that donors have increased health risks, it is simply the precautionary principle. In the future, when health insurers cannot remove people and there are caps on cost, that principle is going to be even more evident - insurance companies will need to profit from high costs for healthy people in order to offset existing patients, they aren't going to want to add new ones.
Regardless, it could negatively impact the likelihood of live kidney donation.
Dorry Segev, MD, PhD, of the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, and colleagues surveyed 1046 individuals who donated a kidney at their center between 1970 and 2011. Participants were asked whether they changed or initiated health or life insurance after donation, and if they had any difficulty doing so.
Among 395 donors who changed or initiated health insurance after donation, 27 (7 percent) reported difficulty. Among those who reported difficulty, 15 were denied altogether, 12 were charged a higher premium, and eight were told they had a preexisting condition because they were kidney donors.
Among 186 donors who changed or initiated life insurance after donation, 46 (25 percent) reported difficulty. Among those who reported difficulty, 23 were denied altogether, 27 were charged a higher premium, and 17 were told they had a preexisting condition because they were kidney donors.
The results suggest that a high proportion of kidney donors may have difficulty changing or initiating insurance, particularly life insurance. The findings portend serious problems for the future.
“Kidney donors are among the healthiest individuals in the population. It's such a shame that some insurance companies are giving donors a hard time, often because of a misinterpretation that the normal biological changes that occur after donation are an indication of kidney disease,” said Dr. Segev. “This is a reminder that we need to remain strong advocates for our donors, and they need to remain strong advocates for themselves, educating insurance companies when these situations arise.”
Citation: “Difficulty Obtaining Insurance After Live Kidney Donation.” Brian J. Boyarsky, Allan B. Massie PhD, Jennifer Alejo, Kyle J. Van Arendonk, Spencer Wildonger, Jacqueline M. Garonzik- Wang, Robert A. Montgomery, Neha A. Deshpande, Abimereki D. Muzaale, and Dorry L. Segev. American Journal of Transplantation;July 16, 2014 DOI: 10.1111/ajt.12819.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Sexual Fantasies: Threesomes Are Normal, Golden Showers Not So Much
- Ghost Light From Dead Galaxies - A Hubble Halloween
- US Wildlife Bans On GMOs And Neonics Lack Transparency And Scientific Rationale
- Does Max Tegmark Kill A Daughter In A Parallel World ?
- The Way Architecture Imitates Life, Biology Meets Geometry
- Greenpeace Says Its GMOs Are Better Than Science's GMOs, Still Hates Golden Rice
- Is It Possible To Build A Spacesuit Or Spaceship To Travel Through The Sun With Future Tech? - Just For Fun.
- "Verduyn is right on the money when he says it's not the emotion of sadness itself that's inherently..."
- "A very astute observation, given that they're both, in essence, electrical phenomena...."
- "A growing population is a huge problem because we take for granted the innovations that have..."
- " Well, perhaps, my inference and reply is faulty, but you do say Tolle basically claims his way..."
- "I'm flattered you think I wrote this. Jon will be less pleased...."
- Two-faced anti-GMO groups: Block crop and food innovations then claim Big Ag prevents GMO innovations
- Why support erodes for GMO labeling (Hint: It’s not because of spending by Big Ag)
- Genetic “hall of mirrors” with large palindromes, yet smaller: What’s mighty about the mouse
- Gut bacteria an easy scapegoat for disease, but connections hard to prove
- Vermont Rube Goldberg-like GMO labeling law exempts GMO filled natural supplements
- Downside to GMOs: Yields have become so good, they exceed processing capacity