In the Canadian news, there has recently been a report of a family who lives in Saskatchewan, who is now experiencing a severe financial crisis after the woman went into premature labour, while vacationing in the United States while she was in her 3rd trimester.
Thankfully their baby is healthy, in spite of the trauma of her early arrival and the family obviously had the best medical care available to them. It’s extremely fortunate that they were vacationing in a country that afforded them access to the complex medical care their premature child needed for her to survive.
It’s so unfortunate that this family did not understand the financial risks they assumed, that came with travelling out of country, while pregnant. A Doctor can simply confirm if the pregnancy is currently uncomplicated, they certainly can not predict a pregnancy will stay that way. We all know how quickly that can change and it was even acknowledged by the parents who quoted a Hawaiian specialist who said, “that these things just happen. There’s nothing that causes them.”A Doctor can offer no expertise when it comes to Insurance Policy details for a woman who makes the choice to travel past 24 weeks pregnant, even when the pregnancy is not complicated.
High risk or not, the real reason Insurance companies do not cover pregnancy related issues past 24 weeks is financial; when something goes wrong during a pregnancy while a woman is travelling, the costs are simply far too high to cover and have their Insurance business remain viable. Insurance Policies are very clear; at best you can travel up to 24 weeks pregnant and if you travel after that, it means no coverage for you in the horrible event that you go into premature labour. The single way to know how to obtain coverage while vacationing and pregnant is to discuss it with an Insurance Agent.
Women have the right to make the choice to vacation past the 24 week pregnant mark, but with that choice comes complete financial responsibility. You can’t expect to be covered by Insurance after something occurs, and not have paid the premium for the coverage, before you need it. If you expected to have coverage while vacationing between 24 and 40 weeks of your pregnancy then that would have necessitated an extremely detailed interview with an Insurance Adjuster plus a premium indicative of the extremely high risk associated with travelling during this time period.
What other pregnant travelers really need to understand is that when buying Travel Insurance, full disclosure matters. Purchasing a Travel policy that will not cover you or your unborn child as you need it to, is a waste of money. Unless you have an honest discussion, before you travel and have need of using it, with a certified Travel Insurance Broker who can specifically go through the details that might be relevant to your condition, be prepared to forgo your vacation during your 6th to 9th month of pregnancy.
Risking your families’ financial future or risking the life of your unborn baby, for the sake of a vacation during your third trimester is certainly a choice women are entitled to make. But the liability for that decision is not the Travel Insurance Company’s nor should it be held by the people who pay premiums for adequate coverage. One of the first lessons you learn as as a parent, is that many times you will have to place your child’s ‘needs’ before your ‘wants’.
Taking a vacation during the 3rd trimester of pregnancy is not a necessity. Though if the decision is made to travel during this time, then understanding the financial liability you face for the medical care of both mother and premature child is absolutely imperative if you decide against making an informed choice about obtaining appropriate Insurance coverage with a reputable Insurance Company. Waiting 3-4 months before your taking a vacation ‘trip of a lifetime’, is not what most reasonable people would consider a hardship.