What to do if you get a health insurance statement for Minnesota’s free saliva COVID tests

A number of individuals began getting “Rationalization of Advantages” statements from their insurance coverage corporations, saying they owe cash for the free saliva take a look at.

WDAY Information obtained a type of statements from a Blue Cross Blue Protect of North Dakota buyer who wished to remain nameless. It got here with two statements — one for the take a look at itself and one other for “workplace/outpatient go to.”

This explicit EOB mentioned the take a look at prices $300, with insurance coverage committing to pay $100, charging the affected person $200 out of pocket. The “workplace/outpatient go to” EOB is charging $230 in whole. It says insurance coverage will cowl $116.22, and the affected person owes $113.78.

That second EOB additionally got here with a verify, paid to the order of the affected person, for $116.22.

The Minnesota Department of Health website urges anyone using these test sites to not pay insurance for the service. The location says any EOB despatched to sufferers is for informational functions solely, even when a portion of it says “affected person accountability.”

“Members shouldn’t be paying for these explicit assessments,” mentioned Chelsey Matter, Director of Supplier Engagement for Blue Cross Blue Protect of North Dakota.

Matter mentioned the Minnesota Division of Well being contracted an east coast firm for the take a look at websites. She insists the state is footing the invoice — not sufferers.

Matter urged anybody who receives the same verify from their insurance coverage firm to not money it or toss it. If the verify is cashed, the insurance coverage firm may ask for the cash again later.

“For proper now, I might simply ask them to carry on it,” Matter mentioned, “as a result of we’ll work by means of the small print with that firm and perceive why they’re sending us claims for these companies when the Minnesota Division of Well being is contracted with them.”

WDAY Information reached out to Clay County Public Well being officers. In addition they mentioned anybody who took a saliva take a look at at these websites completely doesn’t must pay for it.

If sufferers get a invoice from insurance coverage for the take a look at, they mentioned, they need to not pay it. They advocate calling the county well being division with questions.

The Minnesota Division of Well being despatched this assertion to WDAY Information on Monday night time:

“Sure, Minnesota and Vault Medical Providers have teamed as much as provide at-home COVID-19 saliva testing for everybody who lives in Minnesota, with or with out signs, for free of charge.

“DO NOT pay your insurance coverage firm or the testing supplier on your COVID take a look at — there may be NO COST to you for the take a look at.

“All prices for this take a look at are coated by your insurance coverage firm or the federal or state authorities. Insurance coverage corporations might ship you an Rationalization of Advantages or ‘EOB’ displaying the distinction between the billed value of this COVID take a look at and what they’ve paid. It could even say {that a} portion is ‘affected person accountability.’ That is merely on your info. It’s NOT a invoice, and you do not want to pay something. The testing firm, Vault, accepts what your insurance coverage pays as full cost.

“As for the verify, we’re directing individuals to succeed in out to their medical insurance provider (quantity on the again of their card) or their employer if that is how they obtain their insurance coverage about the right way to return verify; have caller inform their medical insurance provider that they spoke with MDH and we’re directing individuals to ship checks again since Vault won’t gather cost from people solely from medical insurance straight, per federal steering.”

Moorhead and Crookston’s saliva testing websites are nonetheless open, in keeping with the Minnesota Division of Well being web site. Their hours are available at https://mn.gov/covid19/get-tested/testing-locations/community-testing.jsp.

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