Many living organ donors today experience higher premiums or denial of insurance coverage based solely on their status as a donor — but hopefully not for long. In late February, the Living Donor Protection Act was introduced in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. This bill will protect living organ donors by prohibiting insurance companies from denying or limiting life, disability and long-term care insurance to living donors, and from charging higher premiums. The bill also clarifies that living organ donors may use time granted through the Family and Medical Leave Act to recover from donation.

This is extremely important legislation for me, as I am a four-year kidney transplant recipient. I received my kidney from my wife. Giving donors more protection to encourage organ donation will open up more possibilities for those desperately needing an organ transplant to live.

There are over 100,000 people waiting to receive a kidney transplant. In 2015, 17,878 kidney transplants were performed, and 5,628 were from living donors.

I am hoping that Sens. Bill Cassidy and David Vitter will join in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Jeremy Waterbury

production coordinator

New Orleans