In late March, my right elbow suddenly ballooned up, becoming red, painful and hot to the touch. But what I assumed was tennis elbow proved to be cellulitis, a serious infection that required an IV of an expensive antibiotic dispensed during six hours in a Manhattan emergency room. The hospital billed my insurance company more than $10,000 per hour, or $65,892.04 to be exact. I wasn’t even admitted for the night.
Fortunately, my insurer will significantly reduce my share of the charges but the ultimate out-of-pocket cost will still sting long after my elbow no longer does. Adding insult to injury, I can’t write off this unexpected and unavoidable expense on my taxes.