One man received a million dollar bill following his stay in the hospital after contracting the coronavirus. Michael Flor spent 62 days in the hospital and almost died from COVID-19, but says he now feels guilty for living after seeing a bill that totaled $1,122,501.04. "I opened it and said, 'Holy [bleep]!'" he told the Seattle Times.
The 70-year-old had 181 pages worth of bills sent to him, which included a day fee of $9,736 — $408,912 total for his ICU room — close to $250,000 for the drugs he needed and $82,215 for the ventilator he used for 29 days total. The entire bill featured 3,000 itemized charges. "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."
His "heart-stopping" moment came after staying at Swedish Medical Center in Issaquah, Washington while sealed in a room in the ICU, separated from others on that floor. His heart, kidneys and liver were all failing at one point and came so close to passing away, one of the nurses held a phone up to his ear so he could talk to his wife and kids saying their last goodbyes. Fortunately, he recovered and was able to go home in early May to be with his family again.
As for his costly stay, thankfully the Seattle man probably won't have to pay for any of it. Flor has Medicare and Medicare Advantage insurance through Kaiser Permanente which would cover the majority of it. Thanks to the $100 billion emergency funding bill from Congress, his out-of-pocket costs will be covered as well, which totaled to $6,000. "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 say that," he confessed. Taxpayer money and insurance money from those without COVID-19 is where most of the funding will come from as well to cover such a costly bill.
As the economy starts to open again following the nationwide lockdown, it's being reported that restaurants in parts of Florida are already shutting down again after workers and customers have contracted the virus. Some will shut down for several days for a thorough cleaning, while employees get tested, but only time will tell if they'll remain open and run the business as usual.