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Coronavirus: Woman charged $35,000 by hospital for testing and treatment

Danni Askini does not have insurance and could be expected to foot the medical bill herself

Louise Hall
Saturday 21 March 2020 03:20 GMT
Trump boasts potential coronavirus treatment not yet approved by FDA

A woman diagnosed with coronavirus in the US received a bill of nearly $35,000 (£32,000) for her treatment, according to reports.

Danni Askini fell ill with the virus in late February, but doctors assumed she was reacting badly to medication for her lymphoma, according to Time magazine.

After being told her condition was likely caused by pneumonia, she was sent home.

Her symptoms persisted and she visited the emergency room two more times before finally being tested for Covid-19.

Three days later her results came back and revealed she had the virus, according to the report.

Ms Askini’s bills for treatment and testing came to $34,927.43.

“I was pretty sticker-shocked,” she told Time. “I personally don’t know anybody who has that kind of money.

Ms Askini was uninsured when she went into hospital and as a result, she will not receive help in paying for the bill.

Many Americans across the country could soon be in the same boat, with millions of citizens having no access to health insurance that will help pay for medical bills.

Worst-case scenario predictions for the coronavirus pandemic say that between 160 and 214 million people could become infected in the United States, based on US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention data.

Most people who are infected with Covid-19 will only experience mild symptoms and will not need to be hospitalised.

However, the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions are more likely to experience serious complications of the illness, which can be fatal.

The US government has just signed a relief bill providing financial measures for free testing of coronavirus across the country.

However, as Ms Askini was tested and treated before the passing of the legislation, she has already been charged for her Covid-19 diagnosis.

An analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that the average cost of Covid-19 treatment for someone with employer insurance — and without complications — would be about $9,763.

Someone whose treatment has complications may see bills escalate to around $20,292.

The amount someone with insurance would pay out-of-pocket varies depending on their plan, but the study estimates it could go over $1,300.

Ms Askini has applied for Medicaid and in the hope that she will be able to receive some financial support to retroactively cover her bills, she told the magazine.

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