Canadians Handed $1M Hospital Bill After Woman Gives Birth In Hawaii

I know what you’re thinking and yes, they did have travel insurance. 

Jennifer Huculak was six months pregnant when she flew to Hawaii with her husband for a relaxing vacation. They departed for Hawaii in October, 2013. Before they left on the trip, Jennifer bought Blue Cross insurance and received approval from her doctor that she was fit to make the trip.

Two days into her trip, Jennifer’s water broke and she spent the next six weeks on bed rest in a Hawaiian hospital. Her daughter, born nine weeks early, spent two months in intensive care.

Thankfully, the now 11-month-old girl is healthy, but it was at a great financial cost. Huculak and her husband were slapped with a $950,000 medial bill.

“It makes you sick to your stomach,” Jennifer told CTV Saskatoon. “Who can pay a million-dollar medical bill? Who can afford that?”

Jennifer is receiving no help from her insurance company, Blue Cross, as they are arguing that she had a pre-existing condition, despite what her doctor is saying.

Jennifer received a letter from her insurance company that read: “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.”

The real kicker is that Jennifer said she did not have a high-risk pregnancy, she had a bladder infection that led to bleeding.

According to Jennifer, “The specialist in Hawaii said that these things just happen. There’s nothing that causes them…”

Jennifer and her family are now trying to decide whether they should fight Blue Cross, declare bankruptcy, or just try to wait it out to see what happens. They hope that other travellers can learn from this whole ordeal.

“It’s a very sad situation to be in and people need to be aware that insurance companies will deny you if they have anything they can go on,” she said.

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