By Consumers For Quality Care, on August 3, 2020
Several studies show that the average cost of hospitalization for a COVID-19 patient can range anywhere from $14,000 to $75,000, according to a report in The Columbus Dispatch.
The cost depends on several factors, including a patient’s health insurance, what state they live in and the level of treatment they require.
“If someone is very ill and needs to go to the emergency room and be hospitalized with coronavirus, that’s where they can come into some very hard financial situations,” said Cynthia Cox, vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a California-based nonprofit.
According to Cox, the cost can be even higher for patients who require ventilation support, which can easily reach up to $100,000.
Many patients have also been hit with surprise bills, which often result from a practice known as balance billing. Balance billing occurs when a patient has to pay whatever cost their insurance didn’t cover, or when a patient receives a bill from out-of-network care that was thought to have been in-network.
One of the biggest problems associated with costly medical bills is that people may be delaying care out of fear that they can’t afford treatment.
Cox emphasized the importance of addressing surprise billing, saying that the high cost of coronavirus treatment can have an effect on future health costs.
“It’s showing that people really can’t afford these costs on their own, there’s a real need to address surprise billing, not only with COVID care but generally throughout health care,” she said.