$950,000 for a birth? Seriously.


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A Humboldt, Sasketchewan couple faces possible bankruptcy after Blue Cross refused to pay a $950,000 medical bill incurred when their daughter was born ahead of schedule while they were on vacation in Hawaii.

Jennifer Huculak-Kimmel was six months pregnant when she travelled to Hawaii. Her water broke two days into the trip. She was taken to a hospital by air ambulance and spent six weeks there before their daughter, Reece, was born by emergency caesarean section on Dec. 10, 2013.

Huculak-Kimmel had purchased Blue Cross travel insurance for the trip. She said she specifically asked about the pregnancy and got clearance from her doctor.

“When a Blue Cross representative sits across a table from you and says, ‘Yes, you are covered,’ maybe their representatives should be more well-educated on what they’re selling,” she said.

When it came time for Blue Cross to pay, the couple’s claim was denied on the grounds of “pre-existing conditions.” Huculak-Kimmel said the only condition she had during the pregnancy was a bladder infection about two months before the trip.

The infection did cause some hemorrhaging, but her doctor was aware of it and still cleared her to travel. She also told specialists in Hawaii about it, and they told her it shouldn’t have anything to do with a premature water break, she said.

“We would like Blue Cross to step up and pay for it,” Huculak-Kimmel said, adding they decided to go public to let others know to be careful when purchasing insurance.

“We did this story to warn people that it can happen to anybody,” she said.

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