A 70-year-old Seattle man emerged from the hospital to cheers last month after 62 days of fighting COVID-19 on his way to getting a clean bill of health.
Then he received a 181-page bill for $1,122,501.04 for his stay.
Michael Flor recently showed the astronomical bill to the Seattle Times, noting that it’s more an explanation of benefits because Medicare and other insurance will pay for nearly all of it.
“I opened it and said ‘holy (bleep)!’” Flor told the newspaper.
Flor’s out-of-pocket costs after insurance are still $6,000, but he may not have to pay it because the stimulus package approved by Congress in May included $100 billion for hospitals and insurance providers to account for the costs of the coronavirus pandemic.
Flor spent 62 days in the Swedish Medical Center in Issaquah, Washington, coming so close to death that a nurse one night held up a phone so his family could say goodbye.
He shared the breakdown of expenses, which included $408,912 for 42 days in an isolation chamber, and $82,215 for the 29 days he was on a mechanical ventilator.
“I feel guilty about surviving,” Flor told the Seattle Times. “There’s a sense of, ‘Why me?’ Why did I deserve all this?’ Looking at the incredible cost of it all adds to that survivor’s guilt.”
Flor is the latest coronavirus survivor to illustrate the astronomical costs of care associated with the illness. New York woman Janet Mendez, 33, told The New York Times that she received an invoice for $401,885.57 for spending 19 nights at Mount Sinai Morningside after falling ill with COVID-19 in late March and early April.
The hospital reduced the bill by $326,851.63 as a result of a “financial assistance benefit,” leaving Mendez on the hook for more than $75,000, which she submitted to her insurance carrier, Cigna.
A hospital spokesman told the Times that Mendez receiving the bill for $401,885.57 was an isolated error and that no patient at the hospital is expected to directly pay for their COVID-19 care.