CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Robert Dennis spent weeks in the hospital, fighting and beating the coronavirus. He’s now back at home, working his way through recovery, but he’s not done with the virus entirely just yet. The high school teacher just received his first itemized statement for the cost of his care: $840,386.94.
“Seeing that number yesterday for the first bill it kind of took your breath away again,” Robert’s wife Suzanne, who also beat the virus, said.
The statement covers Robert’s time at Sky Ridge Medical Center, where he was in the intensive care unit and intubated for two weeks.
“His meds just at the hospital are a quarter million dollars,” Suzanne said.
What is not included is Robert’s three weeks at Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital, or his wife’s trips to the emergency room when she was fighting the virus. The couple estimates their total bills to top one and a half million dollars.
“It’s scary. I don’t care how much you have covered. It’s scary to see that kind of number and not really know,” Suzanne said.
The couple has insurance. They plan on calling to make sure that they are covered early next week.
The Colorado Division of Insurance said that if their department regulates the insurance, that patient will be protected by a state emergency regulation. Also, if the hospital that treated a patient received CARES Act funding, they are not required to send surprise bills for COVID-19 treatment.
On March 10th, Vice President Mike Pence told reporters, “All of our major health insurance companies have now joined with Medicare and Medicaid and agreed to waive all copays, cover the cost of all treatment for those who contract the coronavirus, they’ve committed to no surprise billing, and they’ve committed to encourage telemedicine.”
“I would have probably sat down and cried yesterday if didn’t know we had insurance and that was pretty good, but if you don’t have that comfort of knowing something is there, I don’t know how you make that ok with yourself,” Suzanne said.
UPDATE (as of Monday, June 1st): A HealthONE spokesperson says that Mr. Dennis’s bill from SkyRidge Medical Center has been settled at a $0 balance.