Jennifer Huculak-Kimmel : Saskatchewan woman owes $900K for baby's birth in U.S.
Jennifer Huculak-Kimmel : Saskatchewan woman owes $900K for baby's birth in U.S.

Canadian Mother Faces Million-Dollar Medical Bill For Giving Birth in US

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.

Jennifer Huculak-Kimmel was six months pregnant when she and her husband travelled to the tropical island last year for a vacation.

Two days into the trip her water broke at the hotel. She was taken to hospital in an air ambulance. Her premature daughter had to spend six weeks in intensive care before they could take her home.

Huculak purchased medical insurance through Blue Cross. She claims she was given assurances she would be covered but found out while in hospital that the insurance company would not cover the bill because of “pre-existing conditions.”

Huculak disputes that. She was 24 weeks into her pregnancy and received clearance from her doctor 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 the doctor told her.

“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.”

The couple are now wondering if they’ll have to declare bankruptcy to pay the bill.

Despite everything, Huculak said they’re grateful their daughter is healthy. “We’re very fortunate and we count our blessing that we have a healthy baby but it still hangs over your head every day.”

Huculak said she isn’t looking for pity by sharing her story,. Instead she hopes her cautionary tale encourages people to get the right information before traveling.

“I wish someone would’ve warned me. I wish someone would’ve took me aside and said, ‘Hey, you need to get more information.'”


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    One comment

    1. Travel insurance in Canada I believe is one of the biggest scams one could be affected by expectantly. Perhaps on purpose their application forms are asking for simple basic information about one’s health, often in a way that even a lawyer would have problems answering clearly without first getting more details from the insurer about its meaning. Of course this is only to refuse later when it comes to a claim that some things – even if totally unrelated to a claim – were not disclosed.
      A simple hospital visit for a broken toe years ago could then be used by the insurer for the reason to a heart-attack – or whatever – by not having declared it in the first place and refuse to pay. Especially that clause to have been for 90 days without any changes is another trick from them.
      I once inquired about travel insurance while I was on some medication for a simple condition, but when I told them that I had been off that medication for already more than 60 days with the doctors permission because the condition did not require that medication anymore, they told me that now I had become an even BIGGER risk because my situation was not considered “stable”. So, figure that one out.
      There was a special report some time ago by the CBC about travel insurance scams, and they especially did mention some very big and well known companies like Manulife to be careful about, as they also are the underwriters for other insurance companies making the consumer think they are dealing with a reputable insurer unrelated to them. I am a member of the CAA and have been told they have distanced themselves from a particular insurance company and are not using them anymore because of unfair claim refusals in the past.

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