Woman waits months for payment through travel insurance after developing rare illness on vacation
Published Thursday, July 4, 2019 7:06PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, July 4, 2019 8:24PM EDT
Only days after starting her dream vacation to South Africa, a Hamilton woman ended up in the hospital with an extremely rare blood disease that almost killed her.
Liraz Fridman and her boyfriend had just started a safari when she because extremely ill.
“It was approximately a day and half into the safari when I collapsed. I was rushed to the nearest hospital," said Fridman.
She was diagnosed with Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP), an extremely rare blood disorder where blood clots form in small blood vessels throughout the body. According to the U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the clots can limit or block the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the body's organs, such as the brain, kidneys, and heart.
Fridman spent two weeks in the hospital slipping in and out of consciousness.
“The doctors were very, very strong on the fact that I had a short time to live if I didn't get that blood transfusion,” said Fridman.
The medical bills had to be paid right away and along with other expenses, Fridman said she was out of pocket about $50,000.
Before she left for South Africa, she checked to make sure she had travel medical insurance coverage through her TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite credit card, which she pays an annual fee for. She says she was told she had the proper coverage for her trip.
“They explained to me in the event of an emergency I was covered for up to one million dollars," said Fridman.
After Fridman returned to Canada, four months passed and TD did pay $30,000 of her claim, but she said that $20,000 was still outstanding.
“It's a very large sum of money and I’m really hoping they are going to step up to the plate and try to reimburse me," Fridman added.
CTV News Toronto contacted TD Bank about her claim and a TD spokesperson said they had been in touch with Fidman and “have resolved her claim.”
“She will receive her reimbursement, including interest, shortly. The delay in reimbursement was due to a longer than usual administrative billing process with the hospital. As a result, the handling of Ms. Fridman's claim did not reflect the typically high standard of service our customers receive,” the spokesperson said.
Fridman says her health has returned and that it’s been a lesson to check insurance coverage before taking a trip and to keep all receipts and expenses to make a claim.