An American woman who tested positive for Covid-19 has reportedly been sent a bill for almost $35,000 to cover the cost of her treatment.
Danni Askini, who was in treatment for lymphoma, began to feel unwell in late February, and after several visits to the ER she was given a test to confirm that she had contracted the virus.
A few days later she received the bill for her testing and treatment: $34,927.44, which it appears she will have to somehow pay out of pocket given she was in between ensurers at the time.
Askini has since applied for Medicaid, but it's unclear whether this will retroactively cover the bill. In a highly relatable sentiment, she told Time(which originally reported the story):
I personally don’t know anybody who has that kind of money.
And she likely is not alone. There are currently around 27 million uninsured Americans in the US, and the rate of infection has not yet slowed. While the government has promised to cover the cost of testing, the administration si currently silent on treatment.
Even for those who are insured, many plans have high deductibles (in the thousands of dollars) which patients will have no choice but to pay should they need treatment.
According to research from the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average cost for someone without complications to be treated for Covid-19 will be almost $10,000, while anyone who does develop complications is looking at more than double that, at an average of $20,292.
People pointed out that treatment for a contagious virus which the world is working to contain really should be mandatory, and the government should foot the bill.
Others questioned why the cost seemed to be so astronomically high.
Lots of people are suddenly seeing the moral and social benefits of a nationalised healthcare system.
No one should be bankrupted because they had the bad luck to catch a virus. And even if you don't care about this w… https://t.co/pCWMAKvRcp
— Michael David Smith (@Michael David Smith)
Some suggested she may not end up having to pay the full bill.
@abbyabrams I got hit with $20,000 in bills for a surgery 2 years ago. I didn’t pay anywhere close to $20,000 by th… https://t.co/8j8Ekj9SkG
Although one wonders why a sick person should have to expend their energy "negotiating" with government agencies and insurance companies in order to just not end up bankrupt for seeking potentially life-saving treatment.