Texas resident gets over $4,000 in bills after getting tested for COVID:
Dec 03, 2021 1 min, 42 secs

The first bill Janak received was for about $2,700, covering the emergency room and lab fees.

His insurance provider, BlueCross BlueShield of Texas, told him not to worry because it would send him a check for those bills, he said.

The hospital told CBS News it will accept whatever money Janak's insurance company sends him and that once they get it, he won't owe anything more.

Conway Medical Center told CBS News the Costanzos went to the wrong place — to the hospital's "emergency department triage tent" — and that if they wanted a free COVID-19 test, they should have gone to "the free drive-through testing.".

Since they were technically at the emergency room, Conway Medical Center said it was "legally bound to medically evaluate, treat, and discharge" them.

"Why would I go to a hospital or to any testing site for COVID if I was there for allergies?" Jaime Constanzo said.

Examples like those are cropping up even though a law passed last year requires insurance companies to cover tests and any associated treatments, said professor Sabrina Corlette, founder and co-director of the Center on Health Insurance Reforms at Georgetown University.

Corlette said coronavirus testing costs are supposed to be covered 100% by insurance companies, but she has been hearing of some providers tacking on certain fees, sometimes called "facility fees" or "emergency room fees.".

Janak's insurance, BlueCross BlueShield of Texas, said it's reissuing the second check he needs.

"Conway Medical Center has free COVID-19 drive-through testing offered 7 days a week from 8am - 4pm

If a patient comes to our Emergency Department requesting just COVID-19 testing, they are referred to the free drive-through testing

"The day the Costanzos were seen in the Emergency Department, CMC provided 358 free COVID-19 tests in our drive-through testing

Since we started this testing option on August 23, 2021, CMC has provided more than 15,000 free COVID-19 tests."

When a patient has insurance, Tulsa ER & Hospital […] (is) legally required to bill the visit as an emergency room visit, and insurance companies are required to pay, at a minimum, the in-network rate."


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