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Tips help you avoid extra charges for COVID-19 tests

If you’re in need of a COVID-19 test, the Alabama Department of Insurance has some tips to help you minimize the chance you’ll see a surprise charge afterward.

Federal law says you won’t be charged for a test that a doctor requests as medically necessary.

Before you get tested, call your primary care doctor. Get your doctor’s testing order and recommended testing site. That should ensure the test will be administered at no cost to you.

Ask the testing site if it has any charges or fees not covered by insurance.

Do not authorize non-COVID tests at the same time unless your doctor orders them.

Avoid the emergency room unless you are experiencing a true emergency. Emergency rooms usually charge more.

If you aren’t paying with insurance, shop around online or by phone to compare testing charges and possible add-on fees.

If you get a bill related to a COVID test, call your health plan to find out why. If you can’t resolve the issue with your plan, call the Consumer Services Division at 334-241-4141.

For more information on COVID testing in Alabama, call the Alabama COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-264-2256 for testing sites near you as well as hours of operation.