Does it cost money to donate part of a liver?

Liver issues medical concept. Photo of female doctor, empty space.

Liver transplants are from deceased donors. However, less commonly, people may receive a liver transplant from a living donor, which involves someone donating part of their healthy liver. The remaining part of the liver in the donor and the section of liver in the person receiving the transplant grow back to normal size after surgery.

A person does not need to pay to donate part of their liver. The recipient’s insurance covers all medical expenses during the transplant evaluation and surgery. However, a person may be responsible for paying for their medical maintenance test to ensure they are healthy to donate their liver.

They may be responsible for some out-of-pocket travel expenses which the recipient’s insurance will not cover, such as:

  • travel expenses such as gas and airfare
  • food and lodging during the donor evaluation
  • lost wages during recovery

Health insurance can cover vital liver transplant costs, including hospital services, medical services, immunosuppressants, and post-transplant care.

Many private individual health insurance beneficiaries will still incur additional expenses. However, some financial options can help them cover it.

A person who requires a liver transplant should discuss any financial or insurance concerns with a financial coordinator at the transplant center. The financial coordinator will help them determine which insurance plan they are most eligible for and how to manage the cost of care.

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