An Australian woman has offered a word of caution for would-be travellers after a simple accident ended up costing her more than $2,500 in overseas medical bills.
Rachael Minaway, 32, from Sydney, had just landed in Hawaii for the trip of a lifetime, when she snagged her acrylic nail while closing a glovebox in a rental car.
Having experienced broken nails before, the 32-year-old said she was too excited to give the damaged nail a second thought, so she headed straight for the beach.
Rachael Minaway, 32 (pictured), from Sydney, had just landed in Hawaii for the trip of a lifetime, when she snagged her acrylic nail while closing a glovebox in a rental car
‘I didn’t think it was a big deal at all, it’s happened to all of us before,’ Ms Minaway told news.com.au.
But when her finger started to numb, Ms Minaway realised she needed to go to the nearest emergency room, so she Googled for the closest ‘medical centre’.
By this point, the injured traveller said her hand was really starting to hurt so she figured hospital staff would tell bandage her up and she could get back to her trip.
After the initial consultation, doctors told Ms Minaway the nail had to come off, which she agreed to – so long as she could have an anaesthetic to numb the pain.
Thirty minutes later, and one fingernail less, the 32-year-old was ready to check herself out of the emergency room, when she was presented a huge $1,200 bill.
‘I told them we’d only just landed, I hadn’t even checked in my luggage at the hotel. But they wouldn’t let us leave without paying it,’ she said.
Ms Minaway claimed she was forced to pay the $1,200 in full before hospital staff would allow her to leave the facility.
Shocked by what had just happened, the 32-year-old immediate contacted her travel insurer 1Cover, who successfully competed her claim.
Ms Minaway said she was too excited to give the damaged nail (pictured) a second thought, so she headed straight for the beach
But within months of returning from her dream holiday, Ms Minaway claimed she was bombarded with correspondence from the hospital, demanding more money.
She alleged the bills kept coming in, and eventually her total added up to a whopping $2,500 for her broken nail.
While she insisted the bill had already been paid, Ms Minaway – who was six months pregnant at the time – claimed the health care facility kept adding new expenses on.
Fortunately, the 32-year-old’s bill was completely covered by her insurer, but in the wake of the ordeal, she has since urged other travellers to take heed from her tale.
Chief Operating Officer of 1Cover Travel Richard Warburton said it’s crucial travellers ensure they’ve got the right cover as US hospitals are notorious for being pushy.
Doctors told Ms Minaway (right) the nail had to come off, which she agreed to – so long as she could have an anaesthetic to numb the pain
The CEO previously said insurance is one thing people tend to leave to the last minute, but can end up costing thousands if plans go awry in the lead up to the trip.
‘As soon as you’ve locked in the travel dates, you should be booking travel insurance,’ Mr Warburton previously said.
‘There’s no extra cost for booking early, yet you’re covered for so much more than just that period of time you are on holidays.’
While the outcome for Ms Minaway was a positive one, she said she would never risk travelling without insurance, especially now she has a young daughter.
‘You have no idea what’s going to happen,’ she said.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted 1Cover for comment.