70-Year-Old Seattle COVID-19 Patient Received 181-Page, $1.1 Million Hospital Bill & Summary

OPINION | This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

Michael Flor, 70, was admitted to a West Seattle hospital for the coronavirus on March 4 and was released 62 days later. Upon his release, Flor was handed a 181-page bill and summary, totaling $1.1 million someone will have to pay for services rendered.

According to the Seattle Times, Flor was already in the news for being the “miracle child” after he was the longest-hospitalized COVID-19 patient. His road to recovery was long and successful, but expensive. And, the hospital was sure to document every step.

“The total tab for his bout with the coronavirus: $1.1 million. $1,122,501.04, to be exact. All in one bill that’s more like a book because it runs to 181 pages,” the Seattle Times reports.

Luckily for Flor, he has Medicare and will not have to shell out much, if any, of his own funds to foot the bill.

“I opened it and said ‘holy [bleep]!'” Flor said, per the report.

The Seattle Times adds:

The bill is technically an explanation of charges, and because Flor has insurance including Medicare, he won’t have to pay the vast majority of it. In fact because he had COVID-19, and not a different disease, he might not have to pay anything — a quirk of this situation I’ll get to in a minute.

But for now it’s got him and his family and friends marveling at the extreme expense, and bizarre economics, of American health care.

Here’s more on the charges, from the Daily Mail:

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The bill features nearly 3,000 itemized charges, which evens out to around 50 for each day of his stay.

In total, he was billed $408,912 for 42 days spent in an intensive care room equipped with a special isolation chamber and $82,215 for ventilator use that lasted 29 days.

Nearly a quarter of the $1.12 million bill was made up of drug costs.

As Flor has insurance, almost all of the charges will likely be picked up by the taxpayer due to special financial rules special financial rules put in place by Congress amid COVID-19.