Oh Baby! Travel Insurance Won’t Cover $1 Million Bill

Sometimes travel insurance is very helpful. Other times it doesn’t help much at all.

A Canadian couple decided to take a trip to Hawaii when the wife was six months pregnant. As we women know, all kinds of things can happen in the last trimester. A couple days into this vacation, the wife ruptured a membrane and required six weeks of bed rest in the hospital.

The baby was born nine weeks early so it required a couple months in the hospital’s neonatal unit. Unfortunately for this couple, most of the
hospital charge was for the baby, not the wife.

Neonatal BabyWhen the couple took out the travel insurance policy, of course it only covered them, not the baby, because there was no child yet. Adding to the couple’s pain, the insurance company even denied her portion of the medical expenses, claiming it was due to a pre-existing condition even though her doctor said she was fit for travel.

Bottom line, the travel insurance covered some of her expenses but none for the child. Obviously in hindsight, the couple never would have left Canada and their government-provided healthcare if they had known that a premature arrival would not be covered by their travel insurance.

A personal real-life example…

A couple years ago, my husband broke a bone in his foot while on one of his many trips to Hong Kong. No, he didn’t have travel insurance but that’s because he knew that medical costs are very inexpensive there, even for non-residents. He met with a physician, they took x-rays, fixed his foot, gave him medications and a foot boot, and sent him on his way. Total cost: The equivalent of about $128USD.

This couple’s painful, expensive memory is a reminder to everyone else…

  • If you are pregnant – or even not – think about insurance coverage when traveling outside your own country.
  • Review the terms of a travel insurance policy carefully if you have any questions regarding pre-existing conditions.

All of us think our children are worth a million bucks. Here’s a couple that has a child that really is worth that much. I hope they come up with a way to work out the financial part but most important, I hope their baby is fine. When you have the latter, everything else is secondary.

And after this, the cost of sending their child to college will seem like nothing.

 

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