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The Alabama Department of Insurance has some tips to help patients minimize the chance of seeing a surprise charge after receiving a COVID-19 test.

Federal law says patients won’t be charged for a test doctors request as medically necessary.

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

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 a doctor orders them.

Try to avoid the emergency room unless there is a true emergency as emergency rooms usually charge more. 

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

Patients who receive a bill related to a COVID test, should call their health plan to find out why. If it can’t be resolved the issue with the health plan, call the ALDOI 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 by as well as hours of operation.