Canadian couple who gave birth in Hawaii slammed with nearly $1M medical bill
Sandie Benitah, CP24.com
Published Tuesday, November 18, 2014 6:09PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 18, 2014 9:27PM EST
A dream vacation turned into a million-dollar nightmare for a Canadian couple who unexpectedly went into labour while in Hawaii.
Saskatchewan resident Jennifer Huculak was six months pregnant when she went into labour while on vacation with her husband in October 2013. She delivered a baby girl and was sent home with a medical bill totaling $950,000.
"It makes you sick to your stomach," she told CTV News Saskatoon. "Who can pay a million-dollar medical bill? Who can afford that?"
The exorbitant bill came after Huculak was forced to spend six weeks in the hospital on bed rest after her water broke on her second day of vacation. She gave birth to her daughter nine weeks before her due date and the baby had to stay in intensive care for two months.
Huculak told CTV News that she prepared for the worst, buying Blue Cross insurance and getting approval from her doctor to travel but she said Blue Cross has refused to pay any of the amount, arguing that Huculak had a pre-existing condition.
In a letter to Huculak, obtained by CTV News, the company noted the following: "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."
Huculek is refuting their claim, saying she did not have a high-risk pregnancy. She had a bladder infection which led to her bleeding.
"The specialist in Hawaii said that these things just happen. There's nothing that causes them," she said.
While she has had her specialist call Blue Cross to support her claim, the company has still refused to front the money, she said.
Huculek’s family is now considering filing for bankruptcy and are debating whether to challenge the insurance company in court.
"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.