STATE HOUSE — The General Assembly has passed legislation introduced by Sen. Melissa Murray and House Majority Floor Manager John Edwards that would protect organ donors from unfair discrimination as it pertains to insurance and disability income.
“There are few acts more noble than donating an organ,” said Edwards, a Democrat representing District 70 in Tiverton. “To be penalized for such an altruistic act is not only unconscionable, it is absurd. Decisions on insurance coverage should be made based on sound actuarial practices, not a unilateral decision to discriminate against those who are making noble sacrifices. This bill will protect more than just organ donors. It will ultimately protect those who receive those organs as well by encouraging more people to donate.”
The bill – 2023-H 5489 and 2023-S 1028 – would prohibit insurers from denying life, disability insurance and long-term care disability insurance solely on the basis of the individual’s status as a living donor.
“Those individuals who have selflessly donated all or part of an organ or bone marrow should not be denied coverage for giving the gift of life to others,” said Murray, a Democrat representing District 24 in North Smithfield and Woonsocket. “Studies have shown that many kidney donors, for instance, have difficulty changing or initiating insurance — particularly life insurance. This is a practice that could make potential donors reluctant to donate. This bill would stop the practice and offer them protections.”
The measure now moves to the governor’s office.