More Than Half of Insured Americans Have Been Charged for COVID-19 Test

Social distancing and mask-wearing are crucial to controlling the coronavirus pandemic, but we shouldn’t underestimate the importance of testing the population to monitor the spread of COVID-19. It is widely believed that coronavirus testing is always supposed to be free if you have health insurance, but according to a new LendingTree survey, that’s simply not the case for many Americans.

LendingTree commissioned Qualtrics to field an online survey of 1,550 Americans, of which 801 said they have taken a coronavirus test. LendingTree found that over half of Americans who have been tested were charged for the COVID-19 test even though they had insurance.

Key findings: 

  • 61% of Americans who got a COVID-19 test were charged – The average cost of a coronavirus test was $77.
    • 51% said they were charged even though they had health insurance
  • Many patients disputed the charges, but not all succeeded. Almost 48% of Americans who negotiated the charges were successful.
    • Another 23% negotiated the test charges but were unsuccessful in having the charges dropped
    • 22% paid the COVID-19 test bill without disputing the charge
  • About 1 in 5 paid for the COVID-19 test without negotiating. Although there are a few reasons why people didn’t negotiate, 27% of Americans thought the charges were valid.

To view full survey report:  
For additional information on how to negotiate COVID-19 test charges when applicable: