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Paying for a Transplant

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It is part of Seattle Children’s Hospital’s mission to provide financial assistance to children in our region who are in need of a transplant. Financial assistance is based on family need and hospital resources.

Learn more about financial assistance and counseling.

Who will help us with financial planning?

Seattle Children’s has transplant specialists and social workers who will help you plan for the costs of a transplant.

They will help you with application processes for Medicaid or the Children’s Financial Assistance program, depending on eligibility.

What if we don’t live in Washington, Alaska, Montana or Idaho?

If your family lives in a state outside the Washington, Alaska, Montana, or Idaho (WAMI) region, we are prepared to help you. Please visit our financial counseling services to learn more.

What are the costs of a transplant?

  • Pre-transplant evaluation and testing
  • Hospital stay
  • Surgery
  • Follow-up care and testing
  • Anti-rejection and other drugs
  • Fees for surgeons, doctors, radiologists and anesthesiologists
  • Fees for the recovery of the organ from the donor
  • Physical therapy
  • Insurance deductibles and co-payments
  • Transportation
  • Food, lodging and long-distance phone calls
  • Child care for your other children
  • Lost wages if your employer does not pay for the time you or a family member spends away from work
  • Lodging near the center if you don’t live near the hospital
  • Air travel, if necessary, to get to Seattle Children’s quickly

Does health insurance pay for transplants?

Health insurance is the first option we consider for covering the costs of your child’s transplant. You may have health insurance coverage through an employer or a personal policy. Although many insurance companies offer optional coverage for transplant costs, the terms vary widely.

It is important to know that you are responsible for any costs not paid by your insurance, unless you have made other arrangements with us.

Our transplant specialists will help you contact your insurance company. They will check on your benefits and explain your coverage in more detail.

What do I need to know about my child’s insurance coverage?

  • Effective date of coverage
  • Deductible amounts
  • Co-insurance or other insurance supplements
  • Dollar or day maximums for coverage
  • Lifetime benefit maximums
  • Pre-certification requirements
  • Outpatient drug and laboratory work coverage
  • Coverage for organ/tissue recovery and transporting the organ/tissue to Seattle Children’s
  • Patient transportation coverage

What do I need to remember while managing the financial issues of my child’s transplant?

  • Ask your insurance company about pre-certification or using a specific provider.
  • Follow the rules set forth by your insurance company so that your benefits will not be decreased.
  • Keep copies of all medical bills, insurance forms and payments (or canceled checks).
  • Keep a log of your conversations with anyone in the hospital’s billing office or your insurance company: who you talked to, date and time and questions answered.
  • Keep Seattle Children’s informed about your insurance, especially if you have more than one insurance company.

Besides insurance, what other payment options are there?

Charitable organizations

Charitable organizations are a possible area of support. It is unlikely that one organization can cover all of the costs for a patient. But some organizations provide limited aid through grants or direct funding.

Our transplant support staff will help you explore aid opportunities from charitable organizations.

Advocacy organizations

Advocacy organizations advise transplant patients on financial matters. If you agree to a financial arrangement with an advocacy organization, it is important to make sure that the funds are available in a way that suits your family’s needs.

Our transplant support staff can advise you on the best ways to locate and work with an advocacy organization.

Bureau for Children with Medical Handicaps/Special Children’s Fund

Every state has state-funded organizations that provide financial aid to children with chronic conditions.

In most cases, you have to show financial need, but the state may be another source of support.

Financial aid may be available for aspects of care not covered by your primary insurance provider, which can include co-payments, physical therapy and special infant formula.

We will give you information about the state-funded organizations that may offer your family aid.

Personal fundraising campaigns

Many families choose public fundraising as a way to help cover some of their transplant expenses. Our transplant financial coordinators can help you understand the financial laws and legal guidelines you must follow. Learn how the Children’s Organ Transplant Association can help with fundraising.

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