“I was pretty sticker-shocked. I personally don’t know anybody who has that kind of money.”
An uninsured woman who was diagnosed with COVID-19 and treated received a jaw-dropping bill of over $34,000.
Last month, Danni Askini began a complicated journey to arrive at the novel coronavirus diagnosis after she complained of chest pain, shortness of breath and a migraine to her oncologist, who had been treating her for lymphoma, according to Time.
The doctor sent her to an emergency room in Boston, believing she had a negative reaction to new medication. The ER told her it was pneumonia and sent her home, but after several days of a fever and severe cough, she made two more trips to the ER, per the news outlet.
A final test was given on the seventh day of her illness, and three days later she was told she had COVID-19.
More bad news followed, as she opened the bills for her ordeal to find a sticker price of $34,927.43.
“I was pretty sticker-shocked,” Askani told the publication. “I personally don’t know anybody who has that kind of money.”
Askini has since applied for Medicaid, in hopes it covers the cost retroactively.
Earlier this week, Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act which will cover people’s costs for getting tested, but paying for treatment is still up in the air.
According to recent reports, public health experts predict that tens of thousands, possibly millions of Americans will need to be hospitalized for COVID-19.
For those with insurance through an employer, the average cost for treatment could range from $9,763 to $20,292, according to a report on Health System Tracker. Out-of-pocket costs could be around $1,300.
Those uninsured like Askini, may have a more grim prognosis. According to Time, some hospitals have charity care programs and a few states are attempting to pass legislation to help with the cost of treatment. Beyond that, people are stuck with coming up with the cash themselves.
Meanwhile, those Americans without coverage may avoid testing and treatment to avoid the big bills, which will likely increase the spread of the virus.
As of Friday, there are 12,392 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States and 195 people have died from it.