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COVID-19 vaccine should be free, but some people are getting charged

Some billed as much as $100
Posted at 9:17 AM, Mar 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-08 12:14:21-05

The vaccines are here, and the U.S. is administering more than 2 million shots per day.

But with the U.S. providing the vaccines free, a growing number of people are asking why they are being charged.

The government (as part of recent stimulus packages) is paying billions of dollars to Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

The goal is to provide free COVID-19 vaccine shots for every American who wants them.

But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that some doctor's offices and hospitals may charge an "administrative fee," ranging from $20 to over $100 in some cases.

And that can be as much of a shock as that jab to your arm.

What options you have

So from the doesn't that stink file, here are the options you have if you are hit with a $100 office fee for your shot:

The CDC says:

  • If you have insurance, submit a claim. Preventive care should be covered by most plans.
  • No insurance? The CARES Act Provider Relief Fund should cover any extra charge.

CNET says grocery stores, drug stores and pop-up tents are most likely to give the shots free.

Doctor's offices and hospitals, however, often charge administrative fees for just walking in the door. (It can cost several hundred dollars just to sign in to a hospital emergency room, as countless people have learned in recent years.)

So ask before you go.

If you end up with a bill in the mail, even after asking in advance, call the provider and your insurance company. Ask if they will cover it or waive the fee, so you don't waste your money.

Click here for more information on the COVID-19 vaccine from the CDC.

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