Federal guidelines for vaccine distribution state that no one in the United States will have to pay out of pocket to get a vaccine. But some recipients in West Texas have still been charged administrative fees by their health care providers.
Stephen Paulsen, reporter for the Big Bend Sentinel, told Texas Standard that two facilities in his region have charged patients: Pecos County Memorial Hospital in Fort Stockton and Big Bend Regional Medical Center in Alpine.
“In the ballpark of 15 to 25 dollars,” Paulsen said they were charged.
That shouldn’t happen, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. Vaccine providers can bill administrative fees to the patient’s insurance company, if they have one. Providers can also send an invoice to Medicare or Medicaid, or the state’s health and human services department if the patient is uninsured. But patients themselves do not have to pay anything out of pocket.
Both facilities told Texas Standard they are no longer charging any out-of-pocket fees, and they’re reimbursing patients who were charged.
What to do if you were charged for your vaccine, plus guidance for health care providers:
– If you’ve been asked to pay out of pocket for a vaccine, you can submit a complaint to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services here.
– For more information on who pays for COVID-19 vaccinations and testing, and how to get reimbursed if you’ve been charged, click here.
– Health care providers seeking reimbursement for vaccinating a person without insurance can submit a claim here.