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Recently, news broke on the “Million Dollar Baby” claim. Saskatchewan resident, Jennifer Huculak-Kimmel’s insurance provider denied payment for her daughter’s premature birth in Hawaii.
While we can’t speak to the details of this particular case, we can give you some general information about what our travel medical insurance would/wouldn’t cover for expecting mothers.
What You Need to Know Before planning a Babymoon.
Over the last few years, the “babymoon” has become increasingly popular as expectant parents embrace the idea of taking one last trip before their lives are changed forever.
Celebrity babymoons became a regular feature on the cover of glossy magazines and before long, mainstream couples started booking their own pre-baby getaways.
I travelled during both of my pregnancies, before the term babymoon was in fashion, and it didn’t occur to me either time to confirm the details of my medical coverage. The first trip was uneventful but during the second, I became ill with food poisoning and had to be attended to by the on-call physician at our resort. Fortunately, the baby and I were both fine and the relatively small expense was covered by my husband’s health insurance plan. In retrospect, I should have been better prepared before I boarded that flight.
Here’s what expectant Canadians should know before planning a babymoon.
1. Check the Terms of your policy:
Expectant mothers will be relieved to know that pregnancy does not increase travel insurance premiums. The terms noted below are fromTravel Underwriters‘ policy, but these are considered standard among Canadian insurance companies. It is important, however, to still check your policy because terms relating to maternity coverage may vary.
2. Medical coverage:
While there is no specific maternity benefit, coverage may be provided for unexpected emergency expenses related to pregnancy EXCEPT during the 9 weeks before or after the expected delivery date.
Expenses that arise from an emergency not related to the pregnancy, such as a broken leg, may be covered even during that 9 week window. Routine pre-natal care will not be covered by an insurance policy.
3. Pre-existing condition coverage:
A pregnancy complication, such as gestational diabetes, which exists prior to the trip, will be considered a pre-existing condition. This means that treatment of the complication while travelling will only be covered if stability requirements have been met. Stability requirements may vary per policy, and are usually based on your age and trip length.
4. Trip Cancellation Insurance:
If you purchasedTrip Cancellation Insurancebefore knowing you were pregnant, you will be covered if your trip falls within the 9 weeks before or after your due date. You will also be covered if you need to cancel your trip from complications within the first 31 weeks of your pregnancy.
5. What if something happens?
If you go into labour while abroad, you should contact your travel insurance provider as soon as you can (though, obviously, under reasonable circumstances. Get to the hospital first!). Your provincial health insurance plan will typically cover $50-$100 per day, and provided you’re outside the 9 week window, travel insurance will cover the rest.
If you go into labour while travelling within Canada, medical bills are generally covered by your provincial health insurance; travel insurance will cover expenses outside of that. Take note that you may have to pay out-of-pocket for some costs, depending on what your policy covers.
Now that you are familiar with how travel insurance applies during pregnancy, the only thing left to do is decide where to go on that much-needed babymoon! Enjoy!