Thinking about donating a kidney to a friend or loved one in need? Well, it might cost more than you think. The New York Times talked to a few donors who said that private insurers wouldn't touch them after the operation, even though they were otherwise healthy and had passed careful screening to even become a donor. "From my perspective, I'd be a good risk," says one baffled 53-year-old donor, who's had to resort to getting insurance from his state's more expensive high-risk pool.
Most insurers say donation doesn't affect their decisions, but a 2007 study found as many as 11% of donors say they've had trouble getting coverage. "The insurance thing isn't exactly what you're thinking about," says one donor who insurers won't touch. "There is teeny fine print when you sign the paperwork, but you don't really know what it's like." But donation advocates fear some people are thinking about it, and that it's dissuading them from donating to the thousands of dialysis patients in need.