The case of Thomas Eric Duncan — the man who died of Ebola in Dallas today — has raised questions about how U.S. commercial health insurance plans and other benefits plans might cover Ebola care expenses.
The answers could also shed light on how carriers might cover care for the other serious infectious diseases now on epidemiologists’ radar screens, such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and several severe strains of influenza.
Analysts at Lockton recently estimated that hospital care for a typical U.S. patient with Ebola might cost more than $100,000 per case.
The analysts estimated that a typical patient with Ebola would need two weeks of supportive therapy in a hospital intensive care unit (ICU), at an average cost of about $6,000 per day.
In addition to needing an ICU care, a patient with Ebola might need:
- Special isolation equipment and decontamination procedures.
- Extra, well-protected medical personnel required.
- Treatment for complications such as shock and internal bleeding.
The complications could lead to a need for expensive products and services, such as platelet therapy and factor replacement, the analysts say.
“Conservatively, this could add several thousands of dollars of cost per day for several days or possibly longer,” the analysts say.