Travelling During Pregnancy? Expect the unexpected.
Several of our clients have contacted us regarding the recent article that was released “Baby’s Unexpected Birth In U.S. Leaves Australian Family Facing $1,000,000.00 in medical Bills”. We’d like to compare this story with a Torontonian woman’s story who shared a similar ordeal.
Both women were 24 weeks pregnant. Both women went into labor during their trip. This is where the similarities end.
The Australian woman, Mrs. Broom, visiting the U.S., was covered by an Australian insurance policy. The Canadian woman, visiting Jamaica, was covered by a Canadian Group insurance plan.
In the case of the Canadian woman, she did not end up delivering her twins, instead was stabilized in Jamaica : “Luckily the couple had adequate travel insurance and Standard Life paid the entire medical bill. Most Canadian insurance companies insure pregnant women up to 28 weeks.” A Montreal, Canada air ambulance with two incubators and a team of medics flew the Canadian woman back to a Toronto hospital the next day. So we see that the Canadian insurance company was able to make the necessary arrangements to get her to safety.
However, in Mrs. Broom’s case, the Australian travel insurance company refused to pay the claim because her entire pregnancy was considered “preexisting”. As for the Australian, unfortunately she did deliver a premature baby, born at 24 weeks and was refused coverage for the newborn as he/she was not in existence at the time the policy was purchased. As you can well imagine, this type of scenario requires extensive medical treatment, not to mention, the mother’s medical condition herself.
We’d like to take this opportunity to reiterate that there are always risks when travelling while pregnant. Be prudent and verify with your doctor if your are able to travel. As the Canadian woman said it best “Buy travel insurance and stay near a hotel near the best medical facility, or rethink the trip altogether.”