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Ohio – Have you or your insurance company been overcharged for a ‘free’ coronavirus test? We want to hear about it

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Have you been charged for a coronavirus test that you thought was free? Was your insurance company overcharged for a COVID-19 test? If so, we want to hear about it.

COVID-19 tests are supposed to be free, but some patients still receive bills, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis released in July.

Federal law requires private insurers, Medicare and Medicaid to cover COVID-19 tests without any cost to the patient and provides funding cover free testing for some people without health insurance, the Kaiser report said.

However, limits to the federal requirements mean that some people with and without health insurance could receive bills for COVID-19 tests.

People who sought care but were not actually given a test, some who were tested at out-of-network facilities and some who have health insurance plans that don’t meet Affordable Care Act requirements, such as short-term policies, can be charged for a test, the Kaiser report found.

These federal rules also don’t apply to tests conducted as part of employee “return to work” programs, though some companies may cover the costs for their workers, Kaiser said.

While the Kaiser study looked only at hospitals nationwide, in Northeast Ohio COVID-19 tests are also offered at pop-up sites run by local public health departments, drive-thrus at neighborhood pharmacies and other locations.

We want to hear from readers who feel that they have been charged too much for a COVID-19 test. Your comments may be used in a future story that will appear in print and online.

Please tell us about your situation, including where and when you were tested, and the amount you or your health insurance company were billed. Include your name, city, age and daytime phone number. Email your comments to Julie Washington at jwashington@cleveland.com, and write “Covid Test Overcharge” in the subject field.

The deadline is Friday, Oct. 9.

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