Transplant costs are divided into three areas:

  • evaluation (includes all testing needed to see if you qualify for surgery)
  • surgery (includes your hospital stay and fees for the medical staff)
  • recovery (includes follow-up care and medicines).


Charges for before surgery tests and procedures should not be billed to you or your insurance company.

Surgery and recovery 

Medicare covers the full costs of surgery. This includes pre-surgery, surgery and recovery expenses. There will be no out-of-pocket expenses for your hospital stay. Medicare will also pay if you need treatment for complications (problems) that occur as a result of the surgery.

Costs not covered by insurance

Private insurance or Medicare will not cover your personal expenses before, during and after evaluation, surgery and recovery. You will be responsible for any charges that are not directly related to the kidney donation such as:

  • transportation (such as airfare, taxi service, buses, or other transportation)
  • child care
  • unpaid time off work (for tests, surgery and recovery)
  • lodging and food
  • similar expenses.

If you are unsure if any service or medicine will be paid for by Medicare, ask your financial specialist.

Donating a kidney should not change your current insurance coverage. If you do not have insurance before surgery and apply for insurance after surgery, you may need a physical and may need to wait a period of time before the insurance company qualifies you for coverage.

Source: Allina Health Patient Education, Kidney Transplant Information for Recipients and Donors, renal_ahc_93498
Reviewed By: Allina Patient Education experts, including the Transplantation Department of Abbott Northwestern Hospital
First Published: 05/15/2009
Last Reviewed: 05/15/2009

  • You may be able to receive short-term disability or other benefits while recovering from surgery. Talk with your employer or social worker for more information.
  • There is a federal grant available to help with costs for food, lodging and travel for those who qualify. Please ask your coordinator for details.