Some sites in Brooklyn begin charging for coronavirus tests
Getting a COVID-19 test could start costing New Yorkers money.
Some testing sites, mainly at privately-run pharmacies or private clinics, say getting a test is no longer free under certain circumstances.
News 12 is told that coronavirus tests run by New York City and New York State remain free, but Brooklyn residents tell News 12 that they were told they could face out-of-pocket costs of $150 for a visit and test at Carbon Health in Williamsburg.
News 12 is told it comes down to medical necessity so insurance or the Health Resources and Services Administration would pay if an individual was exposed to COVID, has symptoms or are being tested before an operation.
Residents would have to pay for a test at some private clinics if they are doing routine or preemptive testing, getting a test for traveling or for returning to work or school.
A spokesperson at Carbon Health told News 12 in part: “Due to changes in state and federal regulations regarding testing reimbursement, insurance companies are no longer covering visits if patients do not have COVID-19 symptoms or a known exposure.”
Some residents in Williamsburg like Sean Read say charging for tests could create more hesitancy for people to get tested.
“There are going to be plenty of people who will not be able to afford that,” Read says.
News 12 is told there are exemptions for patients who are not insured and covered in the “Families First” or “Cares Act.”
The health department says it’s best to double check with a facility and your insurance company before your visit.