The Kidney Dialogues: "A Preexisting Condition"

by Patrick Appel

A reader writes:

One of the unspoken pitfalls of being a living donor is that, under current law, health insurers can consider your lack of a second kidney as a preexisting condition.  My dad gave my brother a kidney just two years ago.  He applied for new health insurance, only to be denied.  My mom's health insurance still covers him, but her job as a Catholic school teacher is increasingly unstable from year to year.  My dad still has a few years until Medicare kicks in, so we're all holding our breath that it my mom keeps her current job (and his current insurance) until then. 

My brother will need a second transplant at some point in his life as he just turned 30.  I am the other match that we found among family members.  I only hope that the law has changed before my kidney is needed.  I can't imagine, when the time comes, having my own children without being able to get covered by health insurance.

Until laws change and being a living donor becomes more economically feasible, then I'm afraid many tens of thousands of people will continue to die each year on the waiting list. 

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

Just In