US COVID-19 Survivor Receives $1.1mn Hospital Bill

This photo taken on June 11, 2020 shows a man (R) in an ambulance outside the COVID-19 coronavirus ward at the the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) hospital in New Delhi. – Ashwani Jain succumbed to the coronavirus in an ambulance as his family pleaded with several hospitals to take him in, the latest victim of the pandemic sweeping through Delhi and exposing a deadly shortage of hospital beds. (Photo by Sajjad HUSSAIN / AFP) / TO GO WITH health-virus-India-hospital,FOCUS by Abhaya SRIVASTAVA

 

A 70-year-old American man who nearly died of COVID-19 has been billed a heart-stopping $1.1 million for his hospital expenses, the Seattle Times reported Saturday.

Michael Flor was admitted to a hospital in the northwestern city on March 4, and stayed for 62 days — at one point coming so close to death that nurses held up the phone so his wife and children could say goodbye.

But he recovered and was discharged on May 5 to the cheers of nursing staff — only to receive a 181-page bill totalling $1,122,501.04, he told the newspaper.

That includes:  $9,736 per day for the intensive care room, nearly $409,000 for its transformation into a sterile room for 42 days, $82,000 for the use of a ventilator for 29 days, and nearly $100,000 for two days when his prognosis was life-threatening.

Flor is covered by Medicare, a government insurance program for the elderly, and should not have to take out his wallet, according to the Times.

But in a country where health care is among the most expensive in the world — and the idea of socializing it remains hugely controversial — he said he feels “guilty” knowing that taxpayers will bear much of the cost.

“It was a million bucks to save my life, and of course I’d say that’s money well-spent … But I also know I might be the only one saying that,” the Times quoted him as saying.

A gigantic plan adopted by Congress to keep the American economy afloat through the coronavirus shutdowns includes a $100 million budget to compensate hospitals and private insurance companies that treated COVID-19 patients.

-AFP

Nebianet Usaini

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