The longest-hospitalized COVID-19 patient has received his hospital bill, which totals over $1.1 million and is 181 pages long.
This spring, 70-year-old Michael Flor thought he was on the verge of death, but has since recovered. He then opened his hospital tab, which was precisely $1,122,501.04, attached to a long explanation of his charges.
The Seattle Times reports that Flor stayed in a Seattle hospital for 62 days, a time period where he was largely unconscious. Still, during the beginning of his stay, his wife Elisa Del Rosario recalls that he told her, “You gotta get me out of here, we can’t afford this.”
Charges for his room in the ICU came to $9,736 per day. He had to be isolated, in a room that was sealed and could only be accessed by medical professionals in plastic suits and headgear. The room itself cost $408,912 in total. The ventilator, which he used for 29 days, cost $2,835 per day, for a total of $82,215. According to The Times, around a quarter of the bill was just for drug costs.
During the two days when his heart, kidney, and lungs were simultaneously failing, Flor told the outlet that the doctors “were throwing everything at me they could think of.” That portion compromises 20 pages and $100,000 of the bill. The bill included almost 3,000 itemized charges, which came to about 50 per day. The tab doesn’t reflect the costs of him recovering in a rehab facility.
“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.”
However, because Flor has health insurance and Medicare, he won’t be responsible for paying most of the expenses. And because he contracted COVID-19, he might not have to pay anything at all.
Congress allocated over $100 billion to assist hospitals and insurance companies during the pandemic, so as to urge people to get tested and treated. The insurance industry has assessed that the costs of coronavirus will be over $500 billion and has asked Congress to set aside more funds.
“It was a million bucks to save my life, and of course I’d say that’s money well-spent,” he said. “But I also know I might be the only one saying that.”