YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – WKBN 27 First News has received a report from a viewer who was billed $100 for a COVID-19 booster shot from a local health care provider.
While the COVID-19 vaccine and boosters are free, there is a chance that you could get billed in error.
In this case, a booster shot was administered to a local patient with no other services provided at the time. The patient later received a bill for “immunization” for $100. In this case, the bill showed no adjustment for insurance or co-pay, which the patient had.
Attempts for comment from the service provider were not immediately returned. In the assumption that this is a billing error, we are not naming the provider at this time and the patient is following up with them.
In any case, it’s important to follow up if this happens.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 vaccine providers cannot:
- Charge you for a vaccine
- Charge you directly for any administration fees, copays, or coinsurance
- Deny vaccination to anyone who does not have health insurance coverage, is underinsured, or is out of network
- Charge an office visit or other fee to the recipient if the only service provided is a COVID-19 vaccination
- Require additional services in order for a person to receive a COVID-19 vaccine; however, additional healthcare services can be provided at the same time and billed as appropriate
COVID-19 service providers can seek reimbursement from the recipient’s private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid or Medicare) for a vaccine administration fee, but the recipient cannot be charged the balance of the bill.
In addition, beware of scams. If anyone asks you to pay for access to a COVID-19 vaccine, you can bet it’s a scam, according to CDC. Don’t share your personal information or financial information if someone calls, texts or emails you promising access for an extra fee.