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‘An Arm and a Leg’: How you can Keep away from a Massive Invoice for Your COVID Check

By Dan Weissmann, Kaiser Health News

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Tests for the corona virus should be free. And usually they are. But sometimes … things happen. Here’s how to keep these things from happening to you.

New York Times reporter Sarah Kliff asked readers to send in their COVID test bills. She has seen hundreds of them now, and she has walked the most common ways for us of how things can go sideways and how to avoid them.

First, she said, “I don’t want people to think, ‘Holy crap, I just shouldn’t be tested for coronavirus because it’s going to cost me a lot of money.’ You really should. And chances are you won’t get a surprise bill and it will cost you zero dollars. “However, if only 2% of people get a surprise bill and a million people get coronavirus tests a day, that’s a lot of surprise bills. she noticed.

Kliff’s top tip is to avoid taking a test in an emergency room, where you may be charged a “setup fee” that your insurance does not cover.

“An Arm and a Leg” is a co-production by Kaiser Health News and Public Road Productions.

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Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation that is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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