Briar McLaughlan was two years old when she was found without vital signs in a family swimming pool in July 2022.
At the start, they were told that the coverage was not going to change, even that it was going to improve.
I feel like we were totally blindsided by this, the mother said.
The family receives an annual allowance of $1,680 through the Ontario Assistive Devices Program to help meet some of their daughter's needs. For the remainder of their child care expenses, parents rely on their health care benefits. To care for Briar, the family spends $2,000 a month. This includes $662 for a special formula, $355 for bags of that formula and $20 for the gourmet tubes to be changed each week.
CBC has contacted Canada Life for this report. A representative from the insurer then contacted the McLaughlans to tell them that bags of formula would now be covered.
The insurance company also told CBC it has created a mandated team to review claims that may have been denied and decide whether they should be approved on compassionate grounds. She added that the aim was to prioritize urgent applications or those filed by people facing financial difficulties.
In an email sent to CBC, the Treasury Board, which oversees the operations of the federal government, said it shares the concerns and frustrations of members of the federal public service who cannot always reach an agent or who experience long wait times.
We understand the stress this ongoing service issue places on individuals and their families, a spokesperson wrote .
The Treasury Board has said that replacement therapeutic nutrients are covered by a prescription; it was not clear whether related items, such as stomach tubes and formula bags, were also covered.
He also reminded that Members may appeal any denied refund request.
Of the items covered, the McLaughlans say they had to wait months to be reimbursed. The family had to go into debt. The mother believes that the whole clan is losing, whether it is the parents, Briar, or their two other children.
Our children have not asked to experience this. We didn't ask to go through this, and the kids lose out because we have to wait longer to get the refund.
Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-268-7116