Living kidney donors may be blocked from getting health coverage

Right now, it's very difficult for many patients awaiting transplants to get the organ they need, including those who need kidneys. The charitable living donors who sign up to share one of their kidneys hope to save some of those who are waiting--but may pay an even higher price than surgery and the loss of an organ, it seems.

As one case in Texas illustrates, living organ donors may find that they're excluded from coverage in the future, as health plans often consider them to have an uninsurable pre-existing condition. That was the experience of Philip Knisely of Austin, Texas, a 53-year-old who donated a kidney to a co-worker a year ago.

Knisely has said that he was never informed that he was at risk for going uninsured if he lost his existing coverage, while the North Austin Medical Center said that he'd gotten the information orally. Later, he received more than $18,000 in related medical bills, he told the Austin American-Statesman.

To learn more about this issue:
- read this UPI piece

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