A Canadian mother has been saddled with a one million dollar medical bill. The reason for the outrageous bill? Because she’s a new mother. Jennifer Huculak-Kimmel and her husband, who are both citizens of Canada, took a vacation last year to Hawaii. Jennifer was six months pregnant at the time, but she gave birth nearly three months early. Rushed to the hospital via helicopter, she gave birth to a premature baby girl, who needed six weeks in intensive care and 14 weeks total in the hospital until the family could bring her home.
Writes the Canada Journal on Nov. 19: “New babies are always expensive, but a Saskatchewan couple has been hit with a $1 million bill after delivering their daughter prematurely in Hawaii. Their travel insurance provider, Saskatchewan Blue Cross, is refusing to pay for any of it, citing a pre-existing condition clause.”
The “pre-condition” cited by the provider was the fact Jennifer was pregnant, coinciding with a bladder infection she had prior to leaving. She disputes that, claiming her Blue Cross travel insurance advised her that any medical needs would extend to her while they were on holiday. Jennifer also says she was given permission from her doctor – in writing – to travel.
“I had an ultrasound four days before we flew down there. The doctor said, ‘There is no reason you can’t go to Hawaii. You and your baby are healthy,’” she said. “We thought we did everything right. We thought we were covered. We did the doctor’s appointment, we got the OK. We did the Blue Cross thing. It’s kind of a really hard fall when you think that you prepared yourself.”
Huculak is happy to report that their daughter “Reese” is healthy, for which they are eternally grateful to the doctors and staff in Hawaii. “We’re very fortunate and we count our blessing that we have a healthy baby but it still hangs over your head every day,” she said. “I wish someone would’ve warned me. I wish someone would’ve took me aside and said, ‘Hey, you need to get more information.’”
After the 14-week hospital stay, the $950,000 medical bill arrived. “It makes you sick to your stomach. Who can pay a million-dollar medical bill? Who can afford that?” she said, according to The Spread It. The family is now contemplating legal action, bankruptcy, or doing nothing.
Saskatchewan Blue Cross commented that they refused coverage because Huculak was involved in “a high-risk pregnancy.” Per the company’s statement, issued at the time she was in the hospital:
Ms. Huculak was diagnosed and treated for a high-risk pregnancy in the six months prior to departure. As Ms. Huculak is currently hospitalized and being treated for this high-risk pregnancy, any expenses incurred are not eligible under the terms of your policy.
Sound off below. What are your thoughts on this Canadian mother’s million dollar medical bill?