As part of ongoing efforts to support and encourage organ donation, a bill sponsored by Assembly Democrats Carol Murphy, Daniel Benson and Valerie Vainieri Huttle to prohibit insurance discrimination against living organ donors was signed into law Friday.
Although many organ donations take place after someone has died, living donors are also an important source of healthy organs. A living donation takes place when someone chooses to give all or part of an organ, such as their kidney, lung or liver, to someone in need of a transplant.
Under the law (formerly bill A-3199), life, health and long-term care insurance providers will not be permitted to discriminate against people who are planning to become or already are living organ donors.
The law prohibits insurers from declining coverage or otherwise discriminating against anyone in terms of coverage or pricing based solely on their status as a living organ donor. It also prohibits providers from terminating a person’s coverage if they choose to become a living organ donor.
A number of other states have passed legislation benefitting and protecting living donors. New Jersey already allows tax deductions, paid leave and job protections for certain living organ donors.
Upon the bill becoming law, Assembly sponsors Murphy (D-Burlington), Benson (D-Mercer, Middlesex) and Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) issued the following joint statement:
“With more than 109,000 Americans waiting on a life-saving organ transplant, it’s crucial we find ways to encourage more people to become donors and support those who choose to do so. This law will ensure that donors receive fair treatment and do not have to risk losing their insurance because of their donor status. Living donors should be thanked for sacrificing a part of themselves to save someone else, not unfairly punished for their decision. Providing these protections is a way we can help donors while honoring their selflessness.”