Support For The Selfless

Mar 11, 2021

More than 100,000 Americans are on the waitlist for a kidney transplant. Kidney patients wait an average of three-to-five years for a transplant. And every day 12 kidney patients die waiting. 

The availability of living kidney donors is crucial to the survival of many of these patients. 

Life insurers’ most critical mission is helping people take care of what matters most. Reaffirming that commitment, the American Council of Life Insurers joins the National Kidney Foundation in strongly supporting the Living Donor Protection Act of 2021, which was recently introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and in the U.S. House by Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.). 

The legislation will support living kidney donations in three vital ways by:

  • Ensuring living organ donors will not be denied or limited life insurance, disability income insurance or long-term care insurance coverage or face higher premiums solely because of their decision to help someone in need of a vital organ. 
  • Codifying U.S. Department of Labor guidance that covers living donors under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 in the private and civil service.
  • Directing the Department of Health and Human Services to revise its materials on live organ donations to reflect these new protections and encourage more individuals to consider organ donations.

Life insurance industry support for the legislation reflects the industry’s ongoing commitment to expand coverage. 

For more than 175 years, America’s life insurers have carefully and holistically evaluated all applications for coverage. This process known as underwriting allows insurers to keep their promises to policyholders and provide benefits to their beneficiaries – whether they are needed in the next month or in the next century.

Thanks to this legislation, more people’s lives will be saved by living donors. And living donors can rest assured that their selfless act will not solely affect their eligibility for affordable financial protection offered by life insurers.  

We encourage Congress to pass this bill without delay.

(Kevin Longino has been CEO of the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) since 2015.  A kidney transplant patient, Longino began serving on the NKF Board of Directors in 2011.)

Susan K. Neely

Susan K. Neely is the President and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), the nation’s leading trade association determined to help families live better lives by achieving financial security and certainty. As president and CEO, Neely drives public policy and advocacy on behalf of ACLI’s member companies that represent 95 percent of industry assets and serve 90 million families.