Fact Check: Billed for COVID vaccine?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC)— A major push is underway to get more people vaccinated as COVID-19 cases are on the rise. The shots are supposed to be free, but are some of you getting billed for them?

News10NBC received several emails about this. One viewer says he was asked for his insurance card when he got his second shot, but not the first. He asked why and was told the provider changed the rules and was billing for the second ones.

We’ve been reporting for months now COVID vaccines are 100% free and available to everyone. If the vaccines are free, why is your health insurance information needed?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only insurance companies or the federal government can be billed for vaccine administration fees, not patients. You also can’t be charged for an office visit or other fee if you’re just there to get the shot.

In the case involving our viewer, News10NBC reached out to the provider, the Livingston County Health Department. The Public Health Director, Jennifer Rodriguez, says the county is a vaccine provider and they charge insurance. However, they never charge someone who doesn’t have the ability to pay.

So if you’ve heard you’ll end up getting the bill, that is false.

We all know mistakes can be made. If for some odd reason you get a bill for a COVID vaccine, you need to report it to the Office of the Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. You can do that by calling 1-800-HHS-TIPS. You can also do it online by clicking here.


Check out other Fact Checks here. If you have an idea for Fact Check, email Nikki Rudd at nrudd@whec.com.