The Kidney Dialogues: "A Preexisting Condition," Ctd

by Patrick Appel

A reader writes:

I donated a kidney a couple of years ago. The story about kidney donation affecting ones ability to get insurance is bogus. The first test that they conduct on you to see if you are a possible donor is to find out if you have two. Quite a few people are born with one and they don't seem to have any trouble getting insurance. Second, at least at the University of Minnesota where I donated mine, The University makes a commitment to the donors that if you have a problem with your remaining kidney you will be put at the top of the list to receive a new one and the procedures will be covered by the U. Three, prior to the donation you receive one of the most thorough medical exams possible, the ran me through the CT scanner at least 5 times. If there is any thing wrong with you they will find it, a bonus in and of itself. Fourth, you receive follow up care for years to find out if the donation has had any long term affect.

In my opinion there is no down side to being a live donor.  It was easy, and a minor inconvenience compared to someone going through dialysis.

If someone does have an insurance problem they should contact the hospital where they donated.

I doubt that the first reader's e-mail was "bogus." Perhaps all hospitals aren't as generous?