There has been much media coverage of a British couple who’s baby was born 11 weeks premature while they were on a five day trip to New York City (story broke Jan 2, 2015, BBC News Lincolnshire “Premature baby couple ’stranded in US' after birth"). Baby Dax weighed in at only 3 lbs and was last reported as being in good health. However, the five day trip turned into a possible three month stay (they were allowed home Feb 6, 2015 in a medically equipped jet: this, by the way, is called emergency medical evacuation). At first, the couple did not know whether their insurance would pay for the cost of the birth. Since then, the hospital has assured the couple (and indeed the world) that there would be no “significant” financial impact on the family since they worked with their home country insurance coverage to pay for their expenses. A friend of theirs also set up a webpage to collect donations to assist the couple in their costs of their extended stay.
This story has highlighted many things about the medical system in the US. At first, there was a general shock at the price tag of the care which was quickly estimated at $200,000. The high cost of medical care is fairly well established and this, perhaps, should alert those not in the know that this is the unfortunate case here in the US of A. However, the story seems to have turned out well for people who did not purchase travel insurance for their trip. Still, I urge you to consider the following: The cost of neonatal intensive care in the UK reportedly costs £1,500 per day (from “Born too soon - what is the outlook for severely premature babies?" by Fergus Walsh, 12/6/2012 on www.healthynewbornnetwork.org). Multiply that by 3 months and that’s £135,000, folks! (or $203,000)! Would YOUR country’s insurance be so willing to fork over this amount?