Uninsured woman hopes Medicaid will retroactively cover $34,900 COVID-19 bill

An uninsured Boston-area woman was billed more than $34,900 for testing and treatment related to COVID-19, and hopes Medicaid will retroactively cover the expenses, according to Time.

Danni Askini, who has lymphoma, started feeling symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath and a migraine in late February. At first, her physician thought Ms. Askini could be having reactions to a new medication, so the physician directed Ms. Askini to an emergency department in Boston. ED physicians said her symptoms were likely pneumonia and sent Ms. Askini home.

Ms. Askini then began to see her temperature rise and fall to dangerous levels. She also came down with a gurgling cough because of the fluid in her lungs. Ms. Askini went to the ED two more times, and was ultimately tested for COVID-19. Once her flu and pneumonia symptoms were managed, she was sent home, and later diagnosed with the coronavirus, according to Time.

Billing for the testing, ED visits and treatment totaled $34,927. Since Ms. Askini is uninsured — she had been expecting to take a new job in Washington, D.C. in March but now those plans are on hold — she applied for Medicaid and hopes the federal program will cover her bills. Otherwise she would have to pay the total out-of-pocket.

While Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act on March 18 to waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing, it does not include the cost of COVID-19 treatment. 

Read the full article here.

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