Sick Prices: If Ebola Doesn’t Kill You, Medical Costs Might

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

HOUSTON, TX — It’s obvious nobody wants to get Ebola, but if you have the misfortune of being infected you should know, if the virus doesn’t kill you, then the medical costs might.

“It’s a financial emotional disaster to get a disease of that magnitude” say Professor Seth Chandler, Director of Health Law & Policy Institute at the University of Houston.

In addition to declining health you’ll have to deal with mounting hospital bills since the cost to treat Ebola can run $1,000 PER HOUR. “You’re going to have deductibles and co-insurance on your insurance policies so there’s going to be a hit there” says Professor Chandler.

Ashoka Mukpo, the freelance photographer who contracted the disease while working in Liberia had traveler’s insurance but the policy excludes “catastrophic events or outbreaks.” Too bad because his flight from Liberia to Omaha (where’s he’s being treated) cost $150,000- which doesn’t include the 40-man medical team that accompanied him. Lucky for Mukpo, his employer is now covering his medical expenses as is the hospital where nurse Nina Pham works.

Ebola is an expensive disease, so friends of both have started Go Fund Me accounts to raise money for recovery and replacement expenses. Remember how Pham’s home and belongings were decontaminated to stop the virus from spreading? Well, in this case “decontaminated” is code for destroyed.

Let’s hope we can contain this disease.