US snakebite lands Norwegian student with massive bill

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Photo: Danleo (File)
15:46 CEST+02:00
A 23-year-old Norwegian student got a dual shock in the United States recently when he was first bitten by a rattlesnake, then hit by an astronomical hospital bill.

Dag-Are Trydal’s venomous encounter took place as he made his way to his car at a parking lot in San Diego, newspaper VG reports.

“I literally jumped out of both my flip-flops between two cars. A rattlesnake had crept up behind me and bitten me in the foot,” said Trydal.

If the snakebite hurt, more pain was soon to follow in the form of a hospital bill amounting to $143,000 (861,000 kroner).

“It seemed insanely high. I didn’t understand how it could be so expensive. Fortunately, I have student insurance,” said the 23-year-old, an exchange student from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

It now falls to travel insurance firm Europeiske Reiseforsikring to foot the sky-high bill.

“I’ve worked for Europeiske Reiseforsikring for 25 years and have never come across anything like it,” said spokeswoman Emma Elisabeth Vennesland.

“We didn’t think it was possible when we saw the amount and had to double check with our US office twice. This is an all-time high for us.”

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She confirmed that falling ill in the US can be a costly business.

“Just a simple doctor’s visit, to check if you have influenza for instance, can cost up to 15,000 kroner,” she said. 

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