Man donates kidney, gets no insurance

Radburn Royer, of Minnesota, donated his kidney to his daughter Erika after her lupus caused kidney failure. Now 31, Erika is fine, but her physically active 53-year-old father has been unable to obtain private health insurance. Blue Cross and Blue Shield Minnesota rejected his applications 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 attests to his kidney's health. Mr Royer has also been denied life insurance.

There is little information on how often kidney donors face difficulty getting insurance, but advocates say potential donors may be deterred out of fear of being uninsurable. A 2006 study found that 39% of transplant centres reported eligible donors had refused to donate because they feared that they might not be insured. Donors may be slightly more susceptible to developing high blood pressure as they age, but long-term studies have found donors live as long as other healthy people. One study even found that donors live longer. Donors may also face difficulties at work if they need more time to recover than predicted. ~ New York Times, Jun 11

MORE ON THESE TOPICS | organ donation, organ transplants, US

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