Many Still Surprised By COVID-19 Testing Fees

By Consumers For Quality Care, on March 17, 2021

Many Still Surprised By COVID-19 Testing Fees

Studies have shown the importance of testing for COVID-19 to help mitigate the spread of the virus. While COVID-19 tests are free under the federal CARES Act, FOX Harrisburg found that not all insurance companies have been covering the cost of every COVID-19 test.

Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow on health reform and private insurance with the Kaiser Family Foundation, says that many providers are taking advantage of loopholes so they can charge fees that are leaving some patients with egregious medical bills.

“Someone had been charged something like $6,000 for a COVID test and related services,” Pollitz said. “The law doesn’t limit what providers can charge for a COVID test or for related services so they can charge separately for the office visit. If they order additional tests, they can charge for those.”

Reporting discovered that some insurers are only covering COVID-19 testing when it is deemed “medically necessary” by the physician administering the test.

If you get a bill you think insurance should have covered, here’s what you can do.

First, contact your insurance company. Your healthcare provider may have used the incorrect billing code for the test. Second, consider filing an appeal with your insurance company. They may reverse their decision and pay the claim. Finally, reach out to the State Insurance Department.