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Free Covid-19 Tests are Getting Americans Larger Bills

While Covid-19 testing is meant to be free for Americans, many have reported receiving hefty invoices from health providers totaling hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. Jaden Janak is one of them, according to CBS News, who took a test at a Tulsa hospital that resulted in $4,031 in invoices and a year’s worth of debt collector calls. Additional facility, laboratory, or emergency room expenses are being added to the simple procedure of getting a test by some health providers.

The controversy has sparked debate over the perplexing aspects of navigating America’s health-care system, as well as its sometimes excessive expenses. Last year, after his 75-year-old grandma died of Covid, Janak was examined at Tulsa ER & Hospital in Oklahoma. He was given a fast Covid-19 test, which produces results in 15 to 45 minutes, and he assumed it would be free.

He then received two bills, one for $2,700 for emergency room use and the other for $1,300 for a doctor. BlueCross BlueShield of Texas, Janak’s insurance company, stated it will send him cheques to cover the bill. After changing addresses, he received a cheque from his insurance carrier for the first bill, but the second check never arrived. Janak told CBS that he is still unable to pay the account and receives calls from debt collectors requesting payment on a regular basis.

The hospital stated that he will not be charged any additional fees as a result of the extended delay in obtaining payment and that they will accept whatever amount the insurance company sends him whenever he receives it.

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