DENVER — Colorado became one of just two states to prohibit health insurance companies from discriminating against living organ donors by charging them higher premiums or denying them insurance.

The change is part of the Colorado Living Donor Insurance Act which Governor Jared Polis (D-Colorado) signed into law on Thursday. 

House Bill 19-1253 prohibits health, life, disability, and long-term care insurers from discriminating against living organ donors by charging them high premiums or denying them insurance. The signing of the bill ensures that living organ donors will be protected in case the Affordable Care Act goes away, according to the American Transplant Foundation, which advocated for the bill.

It initially only included life, disability, and long-term care insurance providers, but the American Transplant Foundation fought to include health insurance companies to the list of entities that cannot discriminate against living organ donors. 

Colorado and New York are currently the only two states in the country that include health insurance in their bills, according to the American Transplant Foundation.

There are still 1,872 Coloradans waiting for a lifesaving transplant opportunity, the group said in a release.

“We applaud the Colorado legislators who made this bill the best it can be. We have worked tirelessly to ensure living organ donors are protected in a way they deserve to be," said the Anastasia Henry, the executive director of the American Transplant Foundation.

"This bill complements the Living Organ Donor Support Act that we championed in 2018, and gets us a step closer to our vision of making Colorado the first state in the country where nobody dies while waiting for a transplant. Our hope is that as a result of this bill, more lives will be saved in Colorado and more states will follow this example." 

There are still 1,872 Coloradans waiting for a lifesaving transplant opportunity, the group said in a release.

The American Transplant Foundation is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that strives to save lives by reducing the growing list of women, men, and children who are waiting for a transplant. 

Click/tap here for more information

SUGGESTED VIDEOS | Next with Kyle Clark