HHS to payers, providers: Billing patients for COVID-19 vaccines is illegal

Physicians and health insurers can't bill patients and members for costs related to COVID-19 vaccines, HHS said in a recent statement. 

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra sent a letter to providers and insurers June 9 reminding them that billing patients for COVID-19 vaccines is prohibited. 

The letter comes after reports have highlighted Americans' concerns about facing unexpected costs associated with the vaccine and testing. Mr. Becerra specifically cited a recent The New York Times article that found fear of surprise bills could be contributing to vaccine hesitancy.

"We recognize that there are costs associated with administering the vaccines — from staff trainings to vaccine storage. For these expenses, providers may not bill patients but can seek reimbursement through Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, or other applicable coverage," Mr. Becerra said.

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