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COVID-19 vaccine should be free, but some people are getting charged as much as $100

Posted at 10:39 AM, Mar 08, 2021

The vaccines are here and more than a million people a day are getting their shot, or jab, as they call it in Britain.

But with the US 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 a free COVID-19 vaccine shot for every American who wants one.

But the CDC warns that some doctor 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, what options you have if you are hit with a hundred dollar 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, drugstores, and pop up tents are most likely to give the shots free.

Doctor 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.