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A Seattle Man Received a $1.1 Million Bill for His COVID-19 Treatment

2 minute read

After spending months hospitalized for COVID-19 at Swedish Medical Center in Issaquah, Wash., Michael Flor, 70, says that he knew his stay would be pricey. He’d spent 62 days in an intensive care unit, including weeks in an induced coma, and come so close to death that his family had called to say goodbye. But he says it was still “heart-stopping” to read the hospital’s bill — for $1.1 million.

“I had to look at it a number of times… to see if I was seeing it right,” Flor, a Seattle resident, tells TIME.

The 181-page bill included almost 3,000 itemized charges, the Seattle Times reported. His room in the intensive care unit alone had cost about $9,700 a day, Flor says.

Flor says the total cost of his treatment will likely be higher, because the bill does not include multiple items, including fees for his skilled nursing facility, dialysis and the doctors who treated him.

Flor says he may not ultimately need to pay for much of his treatment. He’s insured by Medicare and Medicare Advantage through Kaiser Permanente. The health care company has announced that it will waive most out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 patients through 2020.

Dr. Anne Lipke, a pulmonary and critical-care specialist at Swedish, told the Times that there was a moment when she was surprised that Flor made it through a weekend.

“He was as sick as you can get, with basically every organ system shutting down,” says Lipke.

Issaquah’s Swedish Medical Center did not respond to a request for comment from TIME.

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Write to Madeleine Carlisle at madeleine.carlisle@time.com