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Texas Department of Insurance
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July 7, 2020

How to avoid extra COVID-19 testing charges

Texans who want a test for COVID-19 can likely avoid unnecessary charges by taking a few steps first.

If your doctor requests the test as medically necessary, you shouldn’t be charged for it. That’s federal law.

To reduce your chances of facing extra costs:

  • Call your primary care doctor before getting tested. Get your doctor’s testing order and recommended testing site. The order makes the test possible at no cost to you.
  • 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 your doctor orders them.
  • Unless it’s a medical emergency, avoid hospital or free-standing emergency rooms, which usually charge more.
  • If you aren’t paying with insurance, shop around on the web or by phone to compare testing charges and possible add-on fees.

If you get a bill related to a COVID test, call your health plan to find out why. If you can’t resolve the issue with your plan, call the TDI Help Line at 800-252-3439.

If you believe you have been excessively charged, call the Texas Office of the Attorney General at 800-621-0508.

For more information on COVID testing in Texas, visit the Department of State Health Services website.

Sound for media use: Ben Gonzalez with the Texas Department of Insurance offers COVID-19 testing tips to help Texans avoid unnecessary charges.

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Last updated: 11/30/2022