Cedar Rapids Woman Leaves Hospital With $1 Million Bill
If you're not completely over what the world and nation have been through over the last two years, good for you. We are not the same.
Either way, neither of us is likely as tired of the COVID-19 pandemic as Cedar Rapids woman, Cathy Folkers. She arrived at the hospital in April of 2021, not expecting to stay there for three months. One can safely assume she wasn't expecting her bill to be more than one million dollars, either.
Late in the month, the 57-year-old arrived at the emergency room after falling and breaking five of her ribs. Even after her departure, Folkers could tell that there was still something wrong.
According to The Cedar Rapids Gazette, "She went back to UnityPoint Health-St. Luke’s Hospital the next day, April 26 and was admitted after doctors discovered a punctured lung. They also tested her for COVID-19."
Her test returned positive, and immediately, her health began to decline.
The Gazette article continues:
"Folkers, who was unvaccinated, spent the next 89 days in and out of the intensive care unit, which included three weeks on a ventilator to help her breathe. When Folkers was placed in a medically induced coma to go onto the ventilator in early May, doctors told her family there was only a 1-in-8 chance she would be taken off, her son Chad Folkers recalled."
Folkers' health did eventually improve, and she was discharged on July 23. After her 89-day health journey, her bill finally arrived. The total cost was $1,028,333.91.
Luckily for Folkers, the entirety of the cost was covered by Medicaid. She isn't sure how she would have paid it, otherwise:
I don't know what I would have done.
She told The Gazette.
She lives in affordable housing in Cedar Rapids and is dependent on Social Security checks she receives each month.
According to labblog.uofmhealth.org, a study found that "each hospitalization of a person with private insurance cost a total of $42,200 on average, and that each hospitalization of a person with COVID-19 who had Medicare Advantage coverage averaged about $21,400."
NBC News announced yesterday that Pfizer and BioNTech "have started a clinical trial testing a modified Covid-19 vaccine to protect against the supercontagious omicron variant of the coronavirus."