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Being a living donor

How to cover medical and personal bills while you recover

Medical bills

The transplant patients’ health insurance, Medicaid, or Medicare may cover these costs:

  • Testing
  • Surgery
  • Hospital stay
  • Follow-up care related to donation

Personal bills

You can use:

Paid vacation and sick leave

if your employer offers it

Tax deductions and credits

Many states have laws that make it easier to become a living donor, because they give you:

  • Time off
  • Tax deductions or credits for travel costs and time away from work

Learn more here

Short-term disability insurance

If your job provides disability insurance, you may get disability pay during recovery. Check with your employer before making a decision.

FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act)

Many employees have the right to take unpaid leave for some family and medical reasons. FMLA leave lets you return to the same or an equal position and stay on the employer’s health insurance plan without having to pay higher costs for employees who’ve left their job.

FMLA only covers you if you’re a government or public employee or you’re an employee of a private employer who has more than 50 employees. You are covered if you have worked there for at least 1 year. Check with your employer before making a decision. Learn more on the FMLA website.

NLDAC (National Living Donor Assistance Center)

NLDAC covers some donation-related costs for donors who have financial needs and meet certain guidelines. Learn more on the NLDAC website.

AST (American Society of Transplantation)

AST provides a financial and Living Donor toolkit for those researching living donation. Learn more on the AST website.


Your private insurance or a charity may also cover costs you get during donation related to:

  • Travel
  • Housing
  • Childcare

Ask your social worker or financial counselor at the transplant center about these resources.

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