MIAMI (CBSLA) — A local family is in two different countries, grappling with a medical insurance nightmare, after their newest daughter was born prematurely and with medical complications while they were on vacation in Mexico.
The Stewart family of Malibu was on vacation in Cancun when mother Maggie, who was six months pregnant but had been cleared by her doctor to travel, had to have an emergency C-section to save her life and her baby. Newborn Poppy, who was due in July, was born at 26 weeks, weighed only 1 pound, 6 ounces, and needed treatment for a systematic infection.
But, they ran into a different kind of birth complication with their insurance company, Kaiser Permanente. Second-time dad says they didn’t get the air transports they needed and the insurance giant refused to cover their medical care while they were out of the country.
“That made it very difficult and very tense,” Jeremy Stewart said via a video call. “Our anxiety was at an all-time high trying to get this thing to come through.”
Rather than wait for Kaiser, the Stewarts maxed out their credit cards and borrowed money from friends to charter a plane to take the newborn girl and her dad to the U.S. Jeremy and little Poppy are in Miami now, where she is getting treatment, while mom Maggie and their 3-year-old daughter are expected to join them on Friday.
“What’s done is done,” Jeremy Stewart said. “We hope no one ever has to go through that again. I want to be really grateful we are where we’re at today – that we got the care our daughter needed.”
The family set up a GoFundMe page for friends and family to help chip in to get them home.
Kaiser Permanente says they are looking into the matter, and will make sure all appropriate actions are taken.