As you may have heard, our recent trip to Canada with Lucy didnâ€™t quite go according to plan. As babies are prone to do, Lucy has been picking up all sorts of coughs and colds, annoying, but not usually too much of a problem. Unfortunately for us she picked up a really nasty one in Canada, a respiratory syncytial virus or RSV which clogged up her chest with mucus leaving her struggling to breath without coughing.
Not surprisingly that left us taking a trip to the local hospital twice during the trip, the second time being the day before we were due to head home when the doctors said that she was unfit to fly and decided to keep Lucy and Beth in hospital, Lucy on Oxygen and Ventolin. Ultimately they had to stay an extra ten days until the infection cleared up, and the doctor was happy to clear them to fly.
The way the travel insurance policy works is that the policyholder pays direct expenses, including any outpatient or emergency room costs, and the the hospital and insurance company settle directly for any inpatient treatment. Weâ€™d already paid and claimed for the emergency room visit – $560 CDN as the Alberta health service charges a flat daily rate for visits to the emergency room â€“ plus assorted other sundry expenses for follow up visits to the doctor and for medication, but since the hospital and insurance company were settling up directly, we hadnâ€™t seen the final cost. However this morning an invoice turned up from the hospital, which theyâ€™d incorrectly sent to the patient address rather than the insurance company – $6797 CDN in total for the hospital stay bringing the grand total for the whole illness to $7623 CDN, just over Â£4300. For friends and family in Alberta itâ€™s been a bit of an eye opener too, as they just hand over their Alberta Health card and never see the bills.
All of which dwarfs the size of even a single trip travel insurance policy â€“ and remember we were lucky in that the insurance company werenâ€™t having to pay for extra accommodation, or for special flights back. True you might never need it, but weâ€™re sure glad we had a good travel insurance policyâ€¦