Though most states have lifted their lockdown, COVID-19 has not gone away. Experts are expecting a second wave to hit soon, and people aren’t prepared for the continued toll this will take on the medical care system. They’re also not prepared for the bills, because not only do we live in a country where a hundred thousand people dying is barely mentioned, healthcare is also exorbitantly expensive! Just look at the case of 70-year-old Michael Flor.
Flor was hospitalized in Seattle for 62 days, according to the Seattle Times, and survived his bought with coronavirus. But now he may not survive the charges. He opened a hospital bill that was 181 pages long with a price tag of $1,122,501.04.
A 70-year-old man in Seattle survived the coronavirus, got applauded by staff when he left the hospital after 62 days -- and then got a $1.1 million, 181-page hospital bill.— Rhys Blakely (@rhysblakely) June 13, 2020
ICU costs were $9,736 per day. For 29 days, Flor was on a ventilator which cost him $2,835 per day. A quarter of the bill is medications. And none of it even covers the cost of rehab treatments after Flor’s months of battling illness.
Flor knew even when he was desperately ill that he wouldn’t be able to shoulder the cost of treatment, telling his wife Elisa Del Rosario, “You gotta get me out of here, we can’t afford this.”
He still didn’t anticipate this.
“I feel guilty about surviving,” he said. “There’s a sense of ‘why me?’ Why did I deserve all this? Looking at the incredible cost of it all definitely adds to that survivor’s guilt.”
The good news is that Flor and his wife may not end up being responsible for this bill. He has Medicare and via some stimulus packages, COVID-19 bills are covered entirely.
“It was a million bucks to save my life, and of course I’d say that’s money well-spent,” said Flor. “But I also know I might be the only one saying that.”
Most people would probably say their life doesn’t have a price on it at all. No one who needs healthcare should have to wonder what theirs will be.