How Much Does a Kidney Transplant Cost?

The life-saving opportunity and benefits of a kidney transplant should bring hope and joy to a patient. Unfortunately, the costs involved with a kidney transplant, from medical procedures to ongoing medications and other expenses, cause many patients concern and worry regarding how they will be able to cover the cost of the gift of life.

Understanding the costs involved in a transplant and exploring financial assistance options, including how to fundraise, are your first steps to dealing with the financial burden of a kidney transplant.

According to a Milliman Research Report, the estimated cost of a kidney transplant in 2020 before insurance is $442,500 in the United States. The cost breakdown is as follows.

kidney transplant cost chart

  • Pre-transplant medical care needs to refer to the 30 days following the transplant procedure.
  • Organ procurement can be difficult due to the global shortage of organ donors. When also factoring in matching and other various factors, its no wonder that the average cost reported is $100,000+.
  • Hospital admission for a transplant is often one of the largest expenses for any transplant or cancerous treatment. Consider talking with your physician and insurance provider about ways to reduce these out-of-pocket costs.
  • Physician costs for transplants can be costly but choosing the right physician to fit the patient’s needs should be the biggest priority.
  • Post-transplant medical care needs like outpatient office checkups, immunosuppressants, and other medications can vary greatly depending on the medications prescribed, the number of visits needed, and the duration of your post-transplant medical care.

Common Kidney Transplant Expense Considerations

There are a variety of costs involved with a kidney transplant. In fact, just joining the transplant waiting list can be an expense: many transplant centers have a policy in place that requires patients to prove that they have the financial capability to proceed with the kidney transplant process before they can be listed.

Other costs include:

  • Health insurance premiums, deductibles, and co-pays
  • Pre-transplant medications
  • Unexpected pre-transplant hospitalizations
  • Medical travel and temporary lodging while you are being listed for a transplant
  • Medical travel and temporary lodging while you receive the transplant
  • Relocation or moving expenses due to the transplant
  • Mileage, tolls, and parking fees for transplant-related medical travel
  • Caregiver costs, including lost work
  • Living donor costs, including lost work, transplant testing, and post-transplant medical care
  • Post-transplant immunosuppressants, which a transplant recipient must take for the rest of their life

Below are additional statistics from a 2020 study that surveyed patients in the United States receiving a kidney transplant by category.

how much does a kidney transplant cost on average

What Does Insurance Cover for a Kidney Transplant?

It’s important to understand that in most cases, medical insurance DOES NOT provide 100% coverage for the costs of a transplant and post-transplant care.

Finding Financial Help

Most kidney transplant candidates cannot cover the costs associated with a kidney transplant and post-transplant care without assistance. That’s where Help Hope Live comes in: our nonprofit helps kidney transplant candidates to start community-based fundraising campaigns so they can receive the gift of life.

How Does Fundraising for Kidney Transplants Work?

Fundraising with our nonprofit works as follows:

  1. Submit a campaign request at
  2. You’ll be paired with a Client Services Coordinator
  3. Your Coordinator will provide you with one-on-one fundraising help, including personalized fundraising materials and guidance on how to rally your community, share your story on social media, reach out to the press, plan in-person or virtual fundraising events, and much more

How Is Help Hope Live Different from GoFundMe?

Unlike GoFundMe, Help Hope Live:

  • Verifies your medical need for complete donor confidence
  • Enables tax-deductible donations
  • Provides one-on-one fundraising help
  • Manages all funds raised to protect your state-based benefits (funds raised are not considered personal income/assets to you)

Help Hope Live is a nonprofit with decades of transplant fundraising experience and a perfect 4-star Charity Navigator rating.

Does Fundraising Work?

Here are a few Help Hope Live kidney transplant fundraising success stories:

Kidney transplant landing page banner

"Truly a great fundraising experience for help with my medical bills and so much more when I received my kidney transplant."

Joanna McCray credits fundraising with Help Hope Live for bringing the gift of life within reach in 2018. Unable to work following a diagnosis of end-stage kidney disease, Joanna relied on fundraising to assist with costs ranging from medical travel to caregiving to a lifetime of post-transplant medications. Today, she is a proud Help Hope Live Brand Ambassador.

"Help Hope Live has been amazing and has helped me so much."

When Melissa Tuff needed a kidney transplant, she says her financial coordinator “pulled out the calculator and put a price tag on my life. She was required to raise $12,000 to be listed for transplantso far, she has surpassed $19,000.

"I found myself surrounded by all the love and support I could ask for."

Single mother Jessie Hallowell was diagnosed with kidney failure out of the blue. She received a lifesaving transplant thanks to her brother’s kidney donation. Community fundraising gave Jessie a way to collect tax-deductible donations, a personalized fundraising video, and caring one-on-one support throughout her transplant journey.


Pre-transplant medical care
Organ procurement
Hospital admission
Post-transplant medical care

Ready to Get Started?

If you choose to fundraise with our nonprofit, here’s how the process will look:

1. APPLY for assistance

2. YOU’LL BE PAIRED with a Client Services Coordinator

3. YOUR COORDINATOR will provide you with one-on-one fundraising help, including personalized fundraising materials and guidance on how to rally your community, share your story on social media, reach out to the press, plan in-person or virtual fundraising events, and more.

Need Other Financial Help Options?

For alternatives to fundraising, you can find information on a variety of kidney transplant financial assistance options. Please view our Transplant Resource Directory for insight into sources of direct financial aid, support groups, and other resources for kidney transplant patients and their families.