The recent health crisis has led to many difficult moments around the world. Danni Askini, who in late February began experiencing chest pain, is now looking at a nearly $35,000 hospital bill after she was tested for COVID-19.
Askini has lymphoma and began experiencing shortness of breath and migraines in addition to the pains in her chest, according to TIME, so she contacted her oncologist to report the symptoms. Askini was then was sent to a Boston emergency room where she was told that it was most likely pneumonia, but after getting a fever and a cough, she went back to the ER two more times.
Finally, she was tested for coronavirus and later received confirmation that she had tested positive. After getting a positive result back, she received a bill for $34,927.43. “I was pretty sticker-shocked,” she told TIME. “I personally don’t know anybody who has that kind of money.”
While there is legislation that covers the cost of the test specifically, it does not cover the cost of treatment which can range anywhere from $9,763 to $20,292. Even with insurance, the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that out-of-pocket costs could be around $1,300.
Woman Gets Tested For COVID-19 and Receives a Nearly $35,000 Medical Bill
“Treatment is still a gigantic problem,” Cheryl Fish-Parcham from the consumer advocacy group Families USA told The New York Times.
For those who think they may need to be tested for COVID-19, but are not insured, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that a person calls their local hospital or emergency room before going. This not only helps the staff prepare for your arrival but the specific instructions they may give you can help save you money. As the CDC explains, getting treated at a hospital is often more expensive than getting treated at a doctor’s office.
Testing for the virus has been limited across the country. Now, consumers can get a test from the popular home testing company EverlyWell for $135. On the company’s website, it says they will earn “no profit” and that the test “will be covered by participating HSA and FSA providers.” However, while these tests are readily available for customers to purchase, it is important to remember that these kits should only be purchased if you truly believe you need it.
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.