Who pays the medical bills?
A donor does not incur any transplant-related medical costs. Evaluation, testing, surgery, and follow-up appointments are covered by the recipient's insurance company. Insurance does not cover day-to-day costs that a donor, his or her employer, or insurance company would routinely incur (health insurance premiums, routine health exams, mammograms, Pap tests, colonoscopies, and so on). Any unrelated problems that might show up on pre-donor tests (for example, hernia, ulcer, heart disease, cancer), would be the donor’s insurance company’s responsibility.
Insurance does not cover non-medical expenses such as transportation, lodging, and meals. However, federal funding and other programs such as the National Living Donor Assistance Center and Kidney.org are available to recipients and donors who qualify. Funding is often made available by various organizations through the transplant center itself; potential donors should ask the transplant center's donor coordinator if such programs are available.