South Carolina Adopts Insurance Rules Protecting Living Organ Donors

South Carolina State House

For people thinking about becoming living donors, one obstacle has been the possibility that they could have trouble getting medically underwritten insurance, such as life insurance, later in life.

The South Carolina legislation: The National Kidney Foundation has tried to increase the number of organs available for transplant by developing the Living Donor Protection Act model legislation, which served as the model for South Carolina’s new law.

The American Kidney Fund, an organization that tracks state adoption of donor protection bills, has given South Carolina a B for living donor protection efforts.

The state now protects donors from insurance discrimination but does not provide tax incentives for the donors or their employers, and it does not provide paid leave for the donors, according to the fund.

The federal legislation: S. 1384, the Senate version of the bill, was introduced by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and has 24 co-sponsors who are Democrats or caucus with the Democrats and 15 Republican co-sponsors.

H.R. 2923 was introduced by Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y. The House bill has 148 Democratic co-sponsors and 36 Republican co-sponsors.

The two bills have a total of 235 sponsors and co-sponsors but have not yet come up in committee hearings or markups, according to Congress.gov.

Reactions: The National Council of Insurance Legislators adopted a resolution supporting the federal version of the living donor protection legislation in 2021, and the American Council of Life Insurers endorsed the NCOIL resolution, saying it strikes the right balance between the needs of the donors for insurance and the need for insurers to underwrite fairly.

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The South Carolina State House. Credit: Adobe Stock