Michael Flor, the longest-hospitalized COVID-19 patient, has survived the illness, but the cost of his life comes with an unfathomable price tag. Flor is facing hospital bills totaling 181 pages and $1.1 million in costs.
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“I opened it and said ‘holy [bleep]!’ “ Flor, 70, told The Seattle Times.
He stayed in Swedish Medical Center in Issaquah for 62 days. “He was as sick as you can get, with basically every organ system shutting down,” Dr. Anne Lipke, a Swedish pulmonary and critical-care physician, says of Flor.
At one point during his stay, he told his wife “You gotta get me out of here, we can’t afford this.”
Luckily for Flor, he’s on Medicare and much of the bill will be covered. Congress has also granted $100 billion to help hospitals and insurance companies during the pandemic. Without these safety nets in place, Flor could be facing life-crippling debt.
“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.”
“It was a million bucks to save my life, and of course I’d say that’s money well-spent,” he said. “But I also know I might be the only one saying that.”