**DISCLAIMER: Each insurance provider has different exemptions, stipulations & coverage options, we do not know what insurance you have and what insurance you do not have. It is IMPERATIVE that you call your broker and seek the professional recommendations & wordings of the company your are insured with. We are not medical doctors – we are not an insurance company – we are a Independent Insurance Brokerage full of caring people who want you to understand the RISK you may be taking on if you chose to travel while pregnant. We hold no opinion or judgement on the choices you make, we are simply here to advise of the risk, the lack of coverage and to URGE that you seek all the facts from your Alberta Blue Cross plan, your Alberta Health Care & your travel insurance provider BEFORE traveling while pregnant.**
What are the odds of your baby arriving on their due date? There are so many factors and moving parts to pregnancy & birth that there is no way of ever really knowing exactly WHEN baby is going to arrive. With that said, there are some very important facts that you need to know in regards to pregnancy, birth & travel.
What does your Alberta Blue Cross plan cover? Unfortunately we aren’t able to fully answer that question. But, what we have learned (from speaking with a few of our clients) is that an Alberta Blue Cross plan has the potential to cover a vaginal delivery with no drugs, definitely no epidural. Where does that leave a woman in need of an emergency Cesarean? We aren’t sure. What about the baby after it’s born? Again, we have no answer. The trouble is each individual plan is different and we have no way of knowing what Your plan means for You. What we do know is that it is VERY important that you call your Alberta Blue Cross provider 1-800-661-6995, before travel and to be clear on WHO, WHAT, WHERE you are covered. If you aren’t sure of the questions to ask, give us a call and we will be happy to assist.
What does Travel Insurance Cover? Travel Insurance will cover YOU (mom) up until the indiviual company’s recommended travel dates…. depending on your travel insurance provider these can vary. Generally they hover around the 36 week mark, unless you have a preexisting condition and your doctor has advised you against travel. Again, each company is different and therefor their coverage and guidelines are different, we implore that you call your provider to be clear on WHO, WHAT, WHERE you are covered.
There is one thing that all the travel insurance companies agree on – if your baby is delivered prematurely while travelling BABY IS NOT COVERED.
Again, the health expenses incurred by a premature baby will NOT be covered by travel insurance.
NOTE: it does not matter if the baby is premature or to full term. We are using the term ‘premature’ here as mothers will not be eligible for travel past 36 week mark.
Think of it this way, you purchased your travel insurance policy while your baby was inside of you… so the insurance company agreed to cover your medical expenses while the baby is inside of you. You will be hard pressed to find an insurance company who will take on the risk of a premature or term baby (healthy or otherwise) and any complications or NICU stays that come along with them. We have been in business since 1994 and we have yet to find a company who will expose themselves to this risk and potential expense.
According to most health practitioners, baby is viable after 24 weeks. It goes without saying that in turn, most practicing western medicine hospitals will do their utmost to keep your baby alive if you deliver any time after the 24 week mark. Examples of this include:
– A Canadian couple on holiday in the Philippines delivered baby at 24 weeks – baby ended up staying in the NICU until close to what was the original due date. Delivery & mom’s medical costs were covered by travel insurance, however the couple ended up spending $60,000 in medical costs for their new baby.
– A NICU room in the US costs approximately $10,000 per day and that is just for the room. Then there are nurses, doctors, specialists, tests and drugs… not to mention the sheets your baby sleeps on, the bassinet that holds him and the itty bitty diapers on his bum. Don’t even get us started on the cost of Kleenex. It is reported that a woman in the US who delivered her babies (yup, two) at 24 weeks incurred medical expenses of $1,250,000 – per baby. That was for hospitalization from 24 weeks until they were viable to be released from NICU & go home.
We see these stories in the news all the time – Canadians travelling while pregnant and then overcome with medical bills when baby delivers premature.
We are saddened, these people did not deserve to be burdened by a financial and emotional trauma at what should be an exciting and happy time.
We are frustrated, it is the responsibility of the broker to advise the client was is NOT covered.
It has been made clear time & again that there are insurance brokers who are not doing their duty – they are only selling a policy. Unfortunately it only takes one rotten apple to spoil the bunch but we are here to change that.
We take your protection, your safety and your livelihood seriously. We are here to turn knowledge into success. We are here to make sure that each and every one of you; our friends, our family, and our clients (even those of you who aren’t our clients) understand the RISK and what is NOT covered, Because… Things Happen.
We are only a phone call away and always happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have. In the mean time, we are wishing you a safe & blissfully happy adventure with your new bundle of joy…. And a lovely holiday after delivery!!