A new Arizona law may affect how life insurers in the state do business with a consumer who has donated a kidney or another organ to another person.

The new legislation— an amendment to the state Unfair Insurance Practices law — applies to any state resident who donates an organ to another living person.

The new law prohibits a carrier from denying coverage to a living organ donor, or discriminating unfairly against a living donor in other ways, without actuarial justification.

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Under the terms of the new law, “an insurer that offers life, disability or long-term care insurance contracts may not unfairly discriminate against a living organ donor in the offering, issuance, price or conditions of an insurance policy based solely, and without additional actuarial risks, on that person’s status as a living organ donor.”

The new law is part of an existing statute that already prohibits life insurers from discriminating, without actuarial justification, against an application for life or disability insurance on the basis of an applicant’s genetic condition, developmental disability, or status as a victim of domestic violence.

The History

The bill that formed the basis of the new law, Senate Bill 1100, was introduced in January by state Sen. Heather Carter, R-Cave Creek.

Members of the state House approved the bill by a 30-0 vote Feb. 7.

Members of the state Senate voted to approve the bill by a 58-0, with two abstentions, May 1.

Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, signed the bill into law May 8.

The Donors

Most donated organs come from the deceased, but about 7,000 organs were donated by living people last year, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing. Most of the organs donated by living donors were kidneys and livers.

In some cases, living donors faced increased insurance premiums, despite having similar mortality rates to those who have not donated organs.

Protecting donors against extra insurance costs could increase donations, according to the American Kidney Fund.

Resources

The bill’s history is available here.

The final version of the bill is available here.

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