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Housing costs

Planning for organ transplant surgery housing costs

There are multiple non-medical costs that you should account for when planning for your organ transplant surgery. The cost for housing prior to and after your organ transplant can be one of the most expensive non-medical costs you encounter. If you don’t live close to your transplant center, lodging can be essential to access your medical care.

Plan for multiple visits and check-ups prior to and after your organ transplant. Be sure to follow your doctor and transplant center’s specific instructions for your pre-transplant and follow-up appointments. Here is an example of typical visits before organ transplant surgery and during recovery.

Week 1-2 pre-surgery

Allot a few days for final testing ahead of surgery.

Week 1-2 after surgery

The first week or two after surgery you will likely recover in the hospital.

Month 1 after surgery

You’ll have appointments two times a week:

  • 1 visit with doctor plus lab work
  • 1 visit for lab work only

Month 2 after surgery

You will visit your doctor once a week for a consultation and lab work.

Months 3 & 4 after surgery

You will visit your transplant hospital every two weeks for lab work and once a month for a visit with your doctor.

Month 6 after surgery

You will visit your transplant hospital once a month for lab work and every 3-6 months for a visit with your doctor.

Year 1+ after surgery

You will visit your transplant hospital every 3-4 months for lab work and once a year for a visit with your doctor.

Housing costs can add up quickly. To help defray some of these costs, you may be able to claim your medical-related travel, transportation, and lodging costs on your personal tax return. The IRS Publication 502 Medical and Dental Expenses explains detailed information on how to claim these expenses on your Schedule A tax form. This deduction is limited to $50 per night for each person traveling. In order to properly claim these deductions, you may want to seek advice from a tax professional.

In addition, you may be able to seek reimbursement for medical travel and lodging costs from your health insurance provider. If you have private insurance, be sure to consult with your individual health insurance provider on their specific reimbursements on medical lodging and travel. If you have Medicare or Medicaid insurance, certain reimbursements are available for organ transplants performed at an approved Center for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS) facility located greater than 75 miles from the member’s legal permanent residence.


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