Have you been charged a “COVID fee”? This is something some health care providers have started doing to help cover the costs of increased cleaning, sanitizing and the need for personal protective equipment (PPE) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet if you have Medi-Cal, Denti-Cal and/or Medicare, you are not allowed to be charged this “COVID fee” and should be reimbursed.
California’s Attorney General, Xavier Becerra recently issued a consumer alert about these fees and where to report them. In summary:
- If you have Medi-Cal or Denti-Cal, tell your provider you are not allowed to be charged “COVID fees”, and report it to California Department of Health Care Services Medi-Cal Member and Provider Helpline at 1-800-541-5555.
- If you have Medicare, tell your provider you can not be charged these fees. Report it to 1-800-MEDICARE. You can also call your local Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) at 1-800-434-0222, and/or the California Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) at 1-855-613-7080 to report these fees.
If you have already been charged a fee from your doctor or dentist:
- Contact them to request a reimbursement.
- If you have Medi-Cal, Denti-Cal, Tricare or Medicare and Medi-Cal and have been charged a COVID fee, you can file a complaint at www.oag.ca.gov/report and report which healthcare provider charged you a COVID fee, as well as the name of your health insurance company.
For more information, read the full Consumer Alert on Reported COVID FEES Charged to Patients.