A 21-year-old was slammed with a $93,000 hospital bill after attempting to take his own life.
Oliver Jordan works as a legal assistant in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and attempted suicide last summer.
Following the attempt, Oliver spent one week in hospital, where the costs quickly racked up.
Speaking to the New York Post, he admitted that while he wasn’t thinking of the potential hospital bills at the time, the thought of navigating mental healthcare alone ’caused [him] to delay seeking treatment’.
The young man shared a picture of the horrendous bill to Twitter, shedding light on the faults of the American healthcare system.
He captioned the photo with the eye-opening statement:
This is how expensive it is to attempt suicide in the US.
This is how expensive it is to attempt suicide in the US. pic.twitter.com/QHEzNcDeyB
— oliver garden (@alcumist) April 15, 2019
Thankfully Oliver has insurance to cover most of the costs, but he’s still having to find around $2,850 (£2,200) for his treatment.
Speaking to the Post, however, the 21-year-old pointed out:
For someone who couldn’t afford insurance, this would be utterly catastrophic.
The staggering cost of Oliver’s stay in hospital is truly shocking any way you look at it, but even more so when compared to the free healthcare available in the UK.
It appears laboratory work cost Oliver more than $29,000, while respiratory services cost more than $16,000.
According to 2016 data from the Health Care Cost Institute, the average cost of a single visit to the emergency room in the US is around $1,917 (£1,470). That alone could be enough to deprive someone without insurance of the money to pay for essential things like housing and food for weeks.
Oliver’s tweet gained a lot of attention, receiving over 26,000 likes at the time of writing (April 19). Many people were shocked at the bill, but others weren’t surprised, having been in similar situations.
One Twitter user responded:
In 2017 I was in the psych ward cause I was suicidal. I stayed a weekend. I’m now 10k in debt.
Literally didn’t even get to talk to a therapist abt my issues while I was there [sic].
in 2017 I was in the psych ward cause I was suicidal. I stayed a weekend. I’m now 10k in debt.
literally didn’t even get to talk to a therapist abt my issues while I was there.
— ♡ (@darthloIa) April 16, 2019
Although Oliver was saved from the full expense thanks to his insurance, he said the stress of trying to pay his outstanding medical bill as well as more recent bills is ‘constant’.
Receiving bills and notices for something that will likely take me years to pay off is…disheartening. It leaves a hopeless feeling.
The price of healthcare in the US is truly ridiculous; it really emphasises how lucky nation’s with free healthcare are.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence, please don’t suffer alone. Call Samaritans for free on their anonymous 24-hour phone line on 116 123.
Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.