70 year old American man who miraculously survives coronavirus, receives $1.1 million hospital bill
London, June 14, 2020 (AltAfrica)-A 70-year-old American man who nearly died of COVID-19 has been billed a heart-stopping $1.1 million bill 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 miraculously 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 Seattle Times
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. Listen to the latest songs, only on JioSaavn.com
Congress set aside more than $100 billion to help hospitals and insurance companies defray the costs of the pandemic, in part to encourage people to seek testing and treatment (including those with no insurance). As a result, Flor probably won’t have to pay even his Medicare Advantage policy’s out-of-pocket charges, which could have amounted to $6,000.
The insurance industry has estimated treatment costs just for COVID-19 could top $500 billion, however, so Congress is being asked to step up with more money.