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Huge medical bill. Please help!

Discussion in 'Health' started by JimmiK, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. My parents were visiting from India to help me with my first baby. They had a $100k visitors insurance. On the night of Sept 10, 2019 my dad fell from the bed and suffered a serious spine injury at C4, C5 levels. He is currently at Vancouver Hospital for over 2 months now. As a result of the injury, he is now completely paralyzed from neck down.

    The current hospital bill is over $300k. The final bill is expected to be over $600k. We feel we had done our duty by purchasing the $100k visitors insurance. But nobody expects or plans for such catastrophic events.

    We want to start a payment plan with the hospital but can only afford $100 per month. The hospital has not been very helpful in any way. How can we pay off this huge bill? My mother has signed financial responsibility. Can the bill go to international collections? What happens then?

    After discharge from hospital my dad would need to go to a physical rehab center for some months. The hospital has refused to refer him to rehab in Canada and wants to send him back to India. The problem is there is no one in India to look after my dad. How can we get rehab in Canada?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Sadly, by paying for it.
     
  3. Thanks. We want to pay off the bill. The only thing is we can only afford $100 per month. Do you think the hospital would still send the bill to collections?
     
  4. You are trying to get the hospital to agree to a payment plan that will take over 400 years. Yes, they will likely send the bill to collections.
     
    Qwertypod, Buletruck and k.h.p. like this.
  5. $100,000 coverage is minimum. If you have consider how old your parents are, you could have gotten a higher coverage.
    Now, you can only sell everything you have and pay the bill.
     
    hamgha likes this.
  6. Would suggest getting another job. If you have no way to pay the current bill Canada doesn’t want to refer him to a Canadian rehab centre. There is a shortage of spots and that will add another hundred of thousands of dollars. Would encourage you to look at medical flights home to India.
     
  7. Whilst I have great sympathy for the OPs situation it maybe is a wake up call for others reading this that as per another post here 100k is the absolute minimum insurance set by IRCC almost assuming nothing will happen which is generally true for most but should never be considered sufficient insurance.

    Any relatives I have from the UK for example would take out travel insurance that has medical cover with minimum coverage of 8-16 million dollars which seems excessive but for a UK policy is standard especially for North America. That covers not only hospital treatment but aso medical repratriation if required..

    Obviously different countries have different availability/cost of insurance and cannot speak for India but when dealing with parents/grandparents who are likely at a stage in life when medical issues or odds of an accident can increase then having good cover including medical repatriation is important even if it costs a bit extra.

    Hopefully the OP manages to sort something out and am sure most readers on here will wish them all the best not only for the father to have a speedy recovery , the priority here , but also some sort of resolution to the financial situation.
     
    YVR123, Buletruck and canuck78 like this.
  8. Well said @Bs65. It does sound like the father has a spinal cord injury which will cause longterm disability. Now the the father’s health has somewhat stabilized the family really needs to be doing some longterm planning. Looking into rehab centres in India, looking at travel home, etc. It doesn’t sound like the BC health system will be getting the 600K so it can’t be a huge surprise that Canada would like the FN to return home as soon as possible. Healthcare funds are not unlimited. Most rehab centres are full and patients are stuck in hospital waiting for a spot to open up. Spinal cord rehab is even more e pensive and there are limited spots. Your father will need to work with the rehab team on adjusting to his new life which includes things like using a wheelchair. He will have to pay for one so that would also have to be arranged in India because he would not qualify for one in Canads.

    I have a lot of empathy for your family but you have been refused a rehab spot in Canada you need to be thinking of a plan B. Perhaps raising money for a medical flight home.
     
    Qwertypod and torontosm like this.
  9. This is a horrible situation, and I really do feel for you and your family. Like you said, no one anticipates such accidents happening or emergencies arising.

    It sounds like you have 2 separate issues here, namely how to pay your current hospital bill and how to register your father for rehab. Let's start with the second, as it's easier...there is unfortunately no way for your father to qualify for Canadian rehab. You should start making plans for him to complete the rehab he needs in India, no matter how inconvenient or difficult it may be. rehab is essential for his recovery, and don't skip it.

    As for the hospital bill, the good news for you is that this debt isn't transferable to you. So, if your father can't pay and has to leave the country, the government will have to write the amount off as a bad debt. It happens each year, and while its tragic for the system and the taxpayers of Canada, it is the way the system is designed. I am not advocating that anyone should try to abuse this system, but unfortunately such loopholes exist that allow people to get away with getting treatment and not paying for it.
     
  10. Although I do agree that unfortunately the Canadian tax payer is likely to bear the huge bill I disagree that this is the way the system is designed to work. The system is designed for people to pay their own bills. Would warn you that the outstanding bill is likely going to cause problems when it comes to your parents getting a new visitor visa.
     
  11. For half a million dollars, the hospital will almost certainly seek international collection before just writing it off.
     
    Qwertypod and YVR123 like this.
  12. Do you belong to a church, temple, mosque, community group, etc.? Perhaps they can help you fundraise for a medical flight home.
     
  13. Thanks a lot for your reply.
    Is it possible for us to pay for rehab in Canada out of pocket? We are trying to raise funds for rehab.
     
  14. You would have to pay your hospital bill first.
     
  15. You should probably be raising funds to pay the hospital first. They aren’t going to provide any referrals until you make some sort of good faith payment of a reasonable amount.
     

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