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'Pointless' Insurance Troubles For Live Kidney Donors

Update Date: Jul 16, 2014 09:48 AM EDT

Healthy living kidney donors often face pointless post-donation troubles when seeking or changing health or life insurance, a new study has found. 

"Living donors are some of the healthiest people in the United States. They're heavily screened before they're approved for donation and should be easily insurable," study leader Dorry Segev, M.D., Ph.D., M.H.S., an associate professor of surgery and epidemiology at The Johns Hopkins University, said in the press release. 

According to Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), health insurance companies can not refuse to provide health coverage to living kidney donors, neither they can charge them a higher rate. However ACA doesn't apply to life insurance and according to the study, it was a more common source of difficulty than health insurance. 

"There are about 100,000 people in the U.S. who have altruistically donated a kidney," Segev added. "Insurance companies should make a strong effort on behalf of people who perform this selfless act to make sure that they're well taken care of."

Researchers also noted that some of the hurdles may have been a result of misinterpretation of kidney function tests needed for securing some health or life insurance policies. 

The study has been reported online in the American Journal of Transplantation.

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