What is Donor Shield?

A transplant center that utilizes our Donor Shield product is different from a Donor Care Network Center. Donor Shield is a product transplant centers who want to protect and support their donors can buy. The protections provided by Donor Shield are below.  Donor Care Network Centers of Excellence are centers who have agreed to go above and beyond these core protections to make the kidney donation process easier. To view the protections offered by Donor Care Network Centers of Excellence, see our commitments page.


We Provide Lost Wage Reimbursement

The Donor Care Network wants to ensure that the financial burdens of kidney donation are minimized. Donors may be eligible for reimbursement of up to 4 weeks of lost wages, with reimbursement for weeks 3 and 4 requiring clearance from the transplant center, if they donate at either a Donor Care Network center or a center that utilizes Donor Shield. Reimbursement is limited to $1,500 per week. Lost wages are defined and limited to documented expected earnings that a donor lost due to time missed at work as a result of the kidney donation.

We Provide Travel & Lodging Reimbursement

Those who donate at a Donor Care Network center, or at a center that utilizes Donor Shield, are eligible for up to $2,000 in reimbursements of their travel and lodging expenses related to their kidney donation based on receipts submitted by the donor. Add-ons or luxury expenses are excluded. Driving expenses are reimbursed at the IRS medical mileage rate. Lodging reimbursement covers hotels in the proximity of the transplant center.

We Provide Coverage for Uncovered Complications

If a kidney donor experiences post-surgical complications (e.g., hernia, etc.) related to kidney donation, the related medical costs should be paid for by the recipient’s medical insurance. However, sometimes insurance companies avoid paying these costs by limiting the time that they will pay for donor complications. Sometimes insurance companies ask the donor for an additional co-payment for donor complications. While these instances are rare, they do happen and they are wrong. Through the Donor Protection Program, the Donor Care Network ensures that any donor who donates at a Donor Care Network center, or at a center that utilizes Donor Shield, is never asked to pay for a post-surgical complication that is a result of their kidney donation; these centers agree to waive all uncovered donor complications for any donors that undergo donor surgery at the Member Center’s Hospital. If you have a complication related to your kidney donation, please speak to the transplant program that performed your surgery.

We Provide Donation Life Insurance

Any donor who registers through the Donor Care Network and donates through the National Kidney Registry, or who donates at a center utilizing Donor Shield, will be automatically provided with basic kidney donation life insurance purchased by National Kidney Registry. The insurance includes a $500,000 principal sum covering a period of 365 days post-donation. Notification of a claim must be provided within 90 days of a covered accident.


We Provide Donation Related Disability Insurance

Any donor who registers through the Donor Care Network and donates through the National Kidney Registry, or who donates at a center that utilizes Donor Shield, will be automatically provided with basic donation disability insurance coverage purchased by the National Kidney Registry. The temporary total disability insurance includes a maximum $1,500 weekly benefit for 365 days subject to the donor's last 12 months of earnings, with a 30-day waiting period.

We Provide Legal Representation

Generally most employers and insurance companies are very supportive of living kidney donation. Some employers (e.g., the Federal Government, the National Kidney Registry, etc.) offer additional paid leave to employees that donate a kidney. However, we have seen situations where employers are not so supportive, and in one case the National Kidney Registry was instrumental in winning a wrongful termination case when a donor involved in a National Kidney Registry living paired exchange was fired for taking the time off to donate a kidney. We also understand that some donors, after they donate, lose their health insurance or see health insurance premium increases solely due to donating a kidney. This is very uncommon, but it is wrong. If you donate your kidney at a Donor Care Network Center of Excellence, and are wrongfully terminated from your employment, see a rise in insurance premiums or lose your health insurance as a result of your donation, the Donor Care Network will stand behind you and our legal counsel will do everything reasonably possible to advocate on your behalf.

We Make the Process Easier

Paper-based donor screening and medical history data collection is inconvenient for donors. To make matters worse, many donor candidates are required to provide medical history multiple times during the intake process. The Donor Care Network has eliminated this problem by providing online donor screening so that potential donors can determine in less than five minutes, if they are medically qualified to donate and which centers will accept them as donor candidates. Once the screening process is completed, the Donor Care Network collects your comprehensive medical history in an easy to use online format. Once the candidate completes the medical history, the data is electronically transferred to the transplant center.

Prioritization for Living Donor Kidney

Any donor who registers through the Donor Care Network and donates through a National Kidney Registry paired exchange swap will receive the protections of the National Kidney Registry Medical Board Policies. The National Kidney Registry currently provides ‘kidney prioritization’ to all National Kidney Registry donors enabled by our Medical Board policy that states that should a National Kidney Registry donor’s remaining kidney ever fail, they will be prioritized in the National Kidney Registry program to receive a living donor kidney. This is in addition to the prioritization points that a living donor receives on the national deceased donor wait list. Research shows that living donor kidney transplants can last approximately twice as long as deceased donor kidney transplants. The National Kidney Registry prioritization for a living donor kidney provides additional reassurance in the unlikely case that a donor will ever need a kidney transplant.

Donors Protected Through Kidney Paired Donation and Donor Shield

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