:::: MENU ::::

The Cost of Covid


A couple weeks ago I wound up testing positive for Covid. This was my second time having Covid and, given that I am both vaxxed and boosted, you might think it was a relatively mild case. This assumption would be wrong, however. What started with a minor sore and scratchy throat quickly progressed into a full-blown illness.

My Covid Symptoms

In addition to some of the “normal” Covid symptoms, like cough, fatigue, muscle and body aches, and headache, I also had some more rare Covid symptoms. I had a fever and nausea and vomiting. But the scariest symptom of all was respiratory. I struggled with shortness of breath and, low pulse ox readings, and a high resting heart rate as my heart worked to compensate for the low oxygenation of my blood. These latter two symptoms, in particular, landed me in urgent care.

Urgent Care

At urgent care, I was confirmed Covid-positive and was given a prescription for Paxlovid to combat some of the scarier symptoms I was experiencing. I was told to go home and only go to the hospital if my pulse ox went lower and I was gasping for air. It was quite a scary predicament and I didn’t feel super reassured when I was leaving, but I am glad that my low oxygen readings only lasted one day. Even so, my illness lingered.

An out-of-pocket approach

As I began day four of my Covid journey, I felt just as sick as at the beginning. My body couldn’t seem to get any relief. While my pulse ox readings were improved, I could still hardly make it from the bed to the bathroom. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t keep food down, and was hardly drinking any liquids. Because of this, my sister, an RN, was concerned about the possibility of dehydration. She encouraged me to look into getting a mobile IV to help replenish my fluids and jump-start my recovery. I googled “Mobile IV Tucson” and, to my surprise, there were a handful of companies that will come to your home (even with Covid-positive patients!) and administer IV fluids, along with a variety of vitamins and medication.

Within an hour of calling, an RN was knocking on my door. I got hooked up to an IV of saline that also included Vitamin C, Vitamin B complex, Zinc, Magnesium, anti-nausea medicine, and more. The RN explained that the company’s approach is one of concierge medicine. The service was impeccable, but the downside is it is costly and they do not accept any insurance. It’s strictly out of pocket. The good news, however, is that since they are set up and billed as a medical company, they are HSA-compliant. I couldn’t hand over my HSA card fast enough!

Costs of Covid

I wasn’t billed at urgent care, but I know a bill is coming. My insurance makes me responsible for a 10% copay. The Paxlovid, surprisingly, was completely free. The mobile IV cost $225, but I was able to pay for it using my HSA card and it was worth every penny. I instantly felt more energy after getting fluids in me and it was a turning point in my recovery. I started being able to eat and hold food down, my fever broke, and I all-in-all started feeling better.

On the Mend

At this point, a whole week later, I’m still feeling residual fatigue. But my mind feels sharp again and though my body may tire easily, I can get back to work (I missed a whole week when I felt ill!)

I’m grateful the worst is behind me and that I didn’t need to be hospitalized during my brief bout of respiratory distress. I’m also grateful that I have a healthy HSA to help absorb these unplanned medical expenses. And if anyone else finds themselves in a similar situation, I cannot recommend a mobile IV strongly enough! They are pricey, but what is your health worth? It made a huge difference for me in my recovery!

Y’all take care out there! Stay well!


  • Reply eli |

    I’m glad to hear you are on the mend from covid! I know my mother still has heavy fatigue sometimes, and it’s been about 3 months since she had it, so make sure you keep taking care of yourself. I’m also shocked that the IV is that little out of pocket (though I think my perception of healthcare costs is very skewed), I know when I was in the hospital recently the cash cost of the IV was 859.49 and 257.16 with insurance. And the IV was a very similar mix to what you got!

    • Reply Ashley |

      Wow! It’s crazy how jacked up the charges are at a hospital! I was thinking $225 for a mobile IV was pricey, but when you compare it to the hospital charging $859 (still $256 with insurance), it makes it sound like mine was a deal! Plus, I was able to be in the comfort of my own home. I never left the couch! Makes me think of my post a few months back about “insurance is a scam!”

      • Reply eli |

        I know the whole hospital visit was about $1300 with insurance, for being there about 3 hours (which I do have to say overall they got every test and everything done pretty quick and overall it was my best hospital experience). Without insurance the charges would have been over $4000, so even though I’m taking a pretty big hit with insurance, I cannot imagine how hard it would be without it, since $4000 is more than my partner and I combined make a month

  • Reply Kathy |

    Hi Ashley,
    I’m a long-time reader but seldom comment. I’m so sorry you were that sick, and glad you have recovered. On a sensitive subject, I believe 100% that the shots are the cause of people getting sick again and again because they damage one’s immune system. Many doctors have spoken out about them, they are very, very dangerous.

    • Reply Anonymous |

      This is untrue and receiving the vaccination is what keeps people out of hospitals and able to treat easily at home.

    • Reply Reen |

      Kathy-If you want to drink your Kool-aid that is your prerogative to believe what you believe, but this is not the forum for this type of comment. That was not the point of Ashley’s post.

    • Reply eli |

      Hey Kathy,
      It is disappointing to see people talk like you do about vaccines, as a person with multiple chronic illnesses, and who the vaccines and boosters (as well as masking) have allowed for me to not have Covid and for my lung issues to not get worse. Vaccines are important, supported by science, and allow people to live longer, healthier lives.

  • Reply SMS |

    I’m so glad you’re feeling better! I have to say the costs you mention don’t seem high to me, but then I live in a very high cost of living state.

    Kathy, I hope you accept that many people have a very different experience that you do with vaccines (I assume you haven’t had any) and different beliefs. Many older people as well as as people with damaged respiratory systems cannot afford to get Covid. Damaged BEFORE Covid, like asthma. I have had both vaccines and all the boosters as well as vaccines for pneumonia and shingles and all the childhood vaccines. I get a flu shot every year. I’ve never had Covid, although of course I could still get it and probably will sometime. I’m not an outlier either – plenty of people get the vaccines and don’t get sick, millions and millions of people. I hope you’ll rethink your position on this. All the best.

So, what do you think ?