Million Dollar Baby

Million Dollar Baby

So you hate the NHS? Maybe a pregnant trip to the US will change your mind, says Katie Riley.

If you’re pregnant there are a lot of things you shouldn’t do: smoke, drink, eat sushi, etc. But now – thanks to one pregnant Canadian woman, a holiday to Hawaii, and the absurdity that is the American healthcare system – we have another one to add to the list.

Don’t visit the US if you’re even remotely pregnant. Just don’t do it.

Jennifer Huculak of Saskatchewan (yes, that’s actually a place in Canada) was six months pregnant when she and her husband went on holiday to Hawaii in 2013. Oh-so unfortunately for Huculak, her water broke during the trip and she was forced to give birth to the couple’s daughter, Reece, in the US, nine weeks early. Because she was premature, Reece had to spend two months in the hospital in Hawaii before going to home to Canada for the first time.

Over the course of this entire affair, the Huculaks racked up almost $1 million in hospital bills. (Welcome to your homeland, baby Reece!)

The most amazing part of this story is that the Huculaks actually purchased travel insurance with the American healthcare company Blue Cross before going on holiday. But, because Blue Cross considers Huculack’s previous bladder infection a pre-existing condition (no, actually), they’ve refused to pay the $950,000 medical bill.

So, next time you’re sitting (okay, chances are you’re standing because it’s always so damn crowded) in the Gower Place Surgery during walk-in hours, just try to think: “Hey things could be worse. I could be giving birth in America…” (Fun fact: cost of royal birth = $15,000, average cost of birth in US = $30,000.)

Moral of the story: while pregnant, only visit countries with universal healthcare.

Epilogue: Has this story peaked your interest in the ridiculousness of American healthcare? Check out this interactive map that shows you the average price of common medical procedures by state, via

Featured image credit:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.