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Featured Image Credit: KOMO
A man from Seattle, Washington endured a gruelling battle to overcome Coronavirus, only to find himself hit with a bill of $1.1 million for surviving the ordeal.
Michael Flor, 70, was one of the country's earliest COVID-19 patients and spent 62 days in Swedish Medical Center in Issaquah as he fought to overcome it. 42 days of this time involved being in a completely sealed intensive care room, with medics only allowed to enter wearing plastic suits.
For this stay he was charged $408,912. He was also on a mechanical ventilator for 29 days, costing $82,215 - according to the Seattle Times.
Flor lost 40 pounds during his battle and was unconscious for most of it - at one point his doctor told his family that he wasn't going to make it, with his family saying goodbye to him over the phone.
Thankfully he made a full recovery, but on finally getting home he was stunned to find the 181-page medical bill broken down into thousands of items. Although it was something Flor was anticipating, due to the length of his stay in hospital, it still came as a shock.
The good news for him and his family was that national health insurance organisation Medicare, along with other additional insurance, and Congressional funding, meant that only $3,000 came out of the pensioner's own pocket.
However, the bill highlights the stark reality of the US healthcare system and the eye-watering prices that American citizens are faced with - with many likely to not be as fortunate as Michael Flor.
A Fairhealth national survey estimated that the average cost for a COVID-19 hospitalisation was $73,000 for someone without insurance, which drops to a 'mere' $38000 for those who are insured.
As the total cost of medical care for Coronavirus in the US soars, it's expected that that the public are going to have to go some way to footing the bill - from increased taxes to new insurance premiums.
American Academy of Actuaries member Rebecca Owen commented to KOMO: "There is going to be a lot of costs, not just in healthcare. States who have expanded Medicaid, that is going to cost more money.
"Medicaid rolls are paid for by taxpayers. So what happens with premiums is one thing, but what happens with the entire system is that COVID-19 is going to be expensive.
The uncertainty around the costs that people may face of course comes with the fact that the pandemic is far from over, and as much of the northern hemisphere including America heads into autumn and winter - where viruses are traditionally expected to spread more - the amount of serious cases could well spike again.