Ask about convenience fees before booking COVID test, experts say

Problem Solvers

DENVER (KDVR) – When you pay for a COVID-19 Rapid Test, it’s covered by insurance. But the testing site may also charge a fee for the “convenience.”  

The FOX31 Problem Solvers looked into the practice and found it is legal and common when it comes to franchised locations and other types of testing providers.

The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) Division of Insurance says health care providers are not prohibited from charging the fees, but insurance carriers are not required to cover them.

The practice can come as a shock to some who assume their insurance will cover the entire cost, including fees.

Craig Bailey said he received a $50 charge when he obtained a Rapid Test but disputed the charge. He says his insurance company confirmed that the testing site was in-network.

“Do your homework and contact a facility ahead of time,” he advised.

Health care industry experts say whether some are charged fees can also depend on the type of insurance coverage they carry and negotiations between companies.

There are options available for insurance carriers that do not involve extra fees, like Walgreens and many urgent care facilities linked to major health care systems. Medical staff and information featured on appointment sign-in websites can and should make fee policies clear.

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