March is National Kidney Month – Assemblyman Santabarbara and Senator Skoufis pushing to pass bill to establish Kidney Donor Insurance Fund

Kidney donors would be eligible for premium-free state health insurance

Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara and Senator James Skoufis are pushing to get a bill passed this legislative session and on the Governor’s desk (A.3462/S.2784) that would provide no-cost health insurance to New Yorkers who become kidney donors.

Statistics from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services show that an average of 13 Americans die each day waiting for a kidney transplant. Unlike many organ donations which can only be made after a person dies, individuals can choose to donate a kidney during their lifetime. In New York State, there are more than 8,000 people waiting for a kidney transplant right now, Santabarbara noted. Under the legislation the state will establish a designated Kidney Donor Insurance Fund that will cover the cost of health insurance premiums for people that make a kidney donation. The intent of the legislation is to increase kidney donations in New York State.

“Those who choose to make a kidney donation can save lives. Unfortunately, each year thousands of people die while waiting to receive a kidney donation,” said Assemblyman Santabarbara. “This bill acknowledges that kidney donors make a choice to undergo surgery and risk complications to their own health to save others. With the health insurance coverage provided in this bill we can encourage more people to become kidney donors and save lives,” Santabarbara added.

"When Assemblyman Santabarbara and I first introduced this bill in 2019, there were over 8,000 folks needing kidney transplants in the state, yet only around 400 donors,” said Senator Skoufis. “In the intervening years our rate of donation hasn't gotten better, and lawmakers need to get creative to incentivize this incredibly taxing procedure. Ensuring those who are selfless enough to donate a kidney are provided with the peace of mind that they will never have to worry about health insurance again is the right move, and I look forward to working with Assemblyman Santabarbara to get this bill over the finish line."