Living Kidney Donation: Costs and Other Practical Matters

Provincial health plans cover the medical costs of living donation but there are other expenses which are not covered. Potential living donors should speak to their Living Donor Coordinator about these costs and other practical matters (i.e. insurance, child-care costs) related to living donation.

Living donation is a gift. The donor does not receive any financial or other compensation for donating one of their kidneys.

Medical costs are covered by provincial health plans. The charges for the donor’s evaluation, all testing and laboratory work, and doctors’ and hospital charges for the surgery and follow-up care are generally paid by provincial health plans.

Non-medical costs are not covered, in most cases. Non-medical costs include travel expenses, out-of-pocket costs, and additional child-care costs. Also included is the possible loss of salary for time off work for the surgery and recovery unless the donor has sick leave coverage available from their company health plan. Generally, these costs must be paid by for by the donor. However, reimbursement of some non-medical expenses is available in some provinces, so speak to the Living Donor Coordinator at the transplant centre to find out more.

In July 2006, the Living Organ Donor Expense Reimbursement Program (LODERP) was launched in British Columbia by The Kidney Foundation’s B.C. Branch in partnership with the B.C. Transplant Society. This program aims to remove financial barriers to living donation by providing financial assistance to living kidney and liver donors.

Insurance matters. Although living donation does not change a person’s life expectancy, potential living donors should check with their insurance provider concerning life insurance, private health insurance or travel insurance policies to obtain all the facts.

– See more at: http://www.kidney.ca/page.aspx?pid=380

In light of this situation, I was pleased to discover this article, reposted from the Irish website, The Journal:

Generous kidney donors to get income tax exemption on expenses

Deidra Doherty who had a heart, lungs and Kidney transplant is pictured with her baby Abbey (6months) at the launch of Organ Awareness Donation Week this year.

Deidra Doherty who had a heart, lungs and Kidney transplant is pictured with her baby Abbey (6 months) at the launch of Organ Awareness Donation Week this year.

KIDNEY DONORS ARE to get an income tax exemption on reimbursable expenses on three areas – loss of income, accommodation and travel costs.

The aim is to ensure that donors do not lose out financially when they donate a kidney, said the Minister for Health Leo Varadkar.

The Minister for Finance Michael Noonan announced the tax relief measure today in the Finance Bill.

Reimburse expenses

Minister Varadkar said he will shortly launch a new policy to reimburse the expenses of living kidney donors, which he said will acknowledge the vital contribution of living kidney donors and minimise any financial hardship incurred by them.

Under this new policy, the reimbursement process will be managed by the HSE and will set out procedures, rates and upper limits for each reimbursable item, including procedures in relation to the reimbursement of loss of earnings for employed and self-employed donors.

Varadkar added:

Anyone donating a kidney must take a certain amount of time off work in order to recover. This can have an impact on their ability earn a living. This new measure from Minister Noonan will make sure that living kidney donors see the full benefit of a generous range of financial supports which I will be announcing in the near future.
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