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Million Dollar Hospital Bill for Early Delivery of Canadian Baby

By HERWriter
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million dollar baby MonkeyBusiness Images/PhotoSpin

A number of people have commented in the Comments sections of articles about the story that Canadian travel insurance is not well managed and should be overhauled. They fault that system for creating a false sense of coverage to buyers.

Second, Huculak-Kimmel’s doctor cleared her for travel despite the bleeding episode at four months.

Steven Lewis, a health policy analyst in Saskatoon told News Cafe, “Well, I don’t think we can be our own doctors. Either we do, or we don’t have a pre-existing condition. And we’re not likely to know about them unless we’ve been told by our doctors that we have them.”

Other commenters said that taking such a long trip at that stage of pregnancy was risky, especially being a Canadian and traveling to the United States where it is well known that medical costs are high.

Third, that is quite a bill! Many commenters argued that the bill is outrageously over-priced. Canadians are not used to U.S. health care prices so it seemed even more so.

However, it cost $40,000 for Huculak-Kimmel’s medical evacuation and $160,000 for her six weeks in the hospital. The total bill was for $950,000 but the bulk was from her daughter’s two months in the NICU, which cost $10,000 to $15,000 per day.

Parents in baby forums report that the NICU care of some of their preterm babies was a million dollars or more but they also reported having insurance coverage that paid the bill. In Hawaii everything is more expensive since it must be transported into the island so the cost may not be so out of line.

And last, in the defense of Blue Cross, it is not typical for pregnant women to hemorrhage because of a urinary tract infection.

Two sources from PubMed, one from 1994 and the other from 1996, indicate that hemorrhaging in a pregnant woman with cystitis can lead to pre-term labor.

It may really have just been a poor call on the part of Huculak-Kimmel’s doctor to let her go so far from home with her history.

The couple are not sure what they are going to do.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.