Australian woman charged $2600 after breaking nail in Hawaii

An Australian woman's visit to the United States got very expensive after she broke a nail in Hawaii.

Rachael Minaway told that she and a friend visited Hawaii and hadn't even checked into their hotel before she broke an acrylic nail.

While she didn't think much of it to begin with, the pair visited the local medical centre after the finger started to go numb.

After a 30 minute consultation, Minaway told she received a AU$1200 (NZ$1262) bill.

"I had to pay it on the spot. 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.

She ended up paying the bill and made a successful claim with her Australian insurer, but for months after returning home, she kept receiving more bills from the hospital - adding up to NZ$2630.

Minaway said the medical centre kept finding new ways to charge her.

Her insurer paid the bills, but the insurer's travel safety expert Richard Warburton told it showed how expensive medical bills were in the United States.

"Recently, we had another customer who faced costs of $2600 for a splinter she removed in the US. She was harassed continuously for this tiny injury once she got back to Australia," he said.

Minaway said it also showed the importance of having insurance when visiting.

"I feel so sorry for those people who go [to the US] and wind up with massive medical bills."