NKF Statement on Landmark Legislation Overwhelmingly Passed to Protect Living Organ Donors

On May 15th, the Missouri State legislature passed SB551, enshrining new life and long-term care insurance protections for living organ donors. Co-sponsored by State Senator Paul Wieland and State Representative Eggleston, the legislation will ensure that life, long-term care and disability insurers will not discriminate against living organ donors through policy conditions, acceptance, or pricing based solely on the person’s status as a living organ donor.

On behalf of kidney patients everywhere, the National Kidney Foundation applauds the committee members in the House and Senate for their leadership on living donation. With more than 1,200 kidney patients in MO waiting for a transplant right now, SB551 will remove some of the key barriers faced by living donors and help ensure more donors step forward without the fear of facing a lifetime of insurance discriminations.

The National Kidney Foundation would also like to acknowledge and sincerely thank our local Advisory Board members, Ira Potter and Claire Schenk, local Medical Advisory Board members, Dr. Krista Lentine (SSMSLU) and Dr. Kunal Malhotra (MU Health Care) and our local staff who worked tirelessly to help make this legislation possible.

The MO legislation is modeled after The Living Donor Protection Act (H.R. 1224 and S. 511) championed by the National Kidney Foundation and introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on February 14, 2019 by four bi-partisan Members of Congress, Representatives Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) joined by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Tom Cotton (R-AR).

Living organ donation not only saves lives, it saves money. Each year, Medicare spends $87,000 per dialysis patient and less than half, $32,500, for a transplant patient.

National Kidney Foundation Living Donation Resources THE BIG ASK: THE BIG GIVE platform, which provides nationwide outreach, is designed to increase kidney transplantation through training and tools that help patients and families find a living donor. It includes direct patient and caregiver support through our toll-free help line 855-NKF-CARES, peer mentoring from a fellow kidney patient or a living donor, online communities, an advocacy campaign to remove barriers to donation, and a multi-media public awareness campaign. All of these resources are free to patients through transplant program partnerships and designed to teach kidney patients, or their advocates, how to make a “big ask” to their friends, loved ones, or community to consider making a “big give,” a lifesaving living organ donation. For more information visit www.kidney.org/livingdonation.

Kidney Disease Facts

In the United States, 37 million adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease—and more than 90 percent are unaware they have it.  1 in 3 American adults are at risk for chronic kidney disease.  Risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and family history. People of African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian or Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease. African Americans are 3 times more likely than Whites, and Hispanics are nearly 1.5 times more likely than non-Hispanics to develop end-stage renal disease (kidney failure).

The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive and longstanding organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease. For more information about NKF visit www.kidney.org.

Contact Us

(573) 882-2506         (800) 733-7345         Fax: (573) 882-0167
2800 Maguire Blvd. Suite B110 Columbia, MO 65211
Email: umhsmokpinfo@health.missouri.edu

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