A dying veteran was worried that his family would have to pay a $61,000 medical bill once he passed on, but the hospital decided that they would pay off his debts for him.
79-year-old military veteran Jim Holt was shocked when he found out that his family would not have to bear the burden of paying off debt that his insurance wouldn’t cover. Holt’s daughter Caroline told The Ottawa Citizen that she received the news while live on the radio talking about the situation her father found himself in with his insurance company.
“My father was in tears,” Caroline recalled. “He said, ‘Somebody finally listened.’”
Reports say that Holt returned to Canada after living in Italy and Argentina for 12 years because he found out he had Stage 4 cancer. While overseas, Holt suffered a broken vertebrae, which was caused by the cancer, so he decided to return to Canada to receive treatment at the Ottawa Hospital.
Upon being admitted to the hospital for treatment, however, the 79-year-old was informed that he had to apply for Ontario Health Insurance because he lived in foreign countries for so long. The health insurance has a three-month eligibility wait period, however, and because he was uninsured for those months, the military veteran was hit with a $61,000 bill.
Thankfully, the hospital decided to work with the insurance company and make sure that the man’s bills were paid, allowing him to now rest easy knowing that his family won’t have to worry about the bill.
“The hospital recognizes the financial challenges faced by uninsured patients who are not covered under a provincial or federal health plan and require non-urgent medical care,” Nathalie Cadieux, the hospital’s vice president of finance, wrote in an email to Holt’s daughter Caroline. “We review such cases on compassionate grounds and try to alleviate unmanageable financial burdens on families as a result of receiving necessary medical care following an illness or injury.”