Charlotte pastor and wife surprised with bill for COVID-19 vaccine

Updated: Mar. 26, 2021 at 5:54 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - They got the COVID-19 vaccine and then got a bill. Multiple people contacted the WBTV Vaccine Team after getting a bill from Novant for administering their vaccine shot.

The CDC makes it very clear. The federal government is providing the vaccine free of charge to anyone who wants it and that means providers can’t charge for giving the shot, either.

WBTV wanted to know why Novant was sending some vaccine patients a bill for a vaccine administration fee.

Reverend Dr. Delton Cooper and his wife both got their first vaccine February 6 at a Novant Health center.

The Coopers received their second shot on Feb. 27.

Like everyone else, Cooper assumed the shots were free. But on March 14, Cooper and his wife were each hit with administrative fees by Novant totaling nearly $80.

“I called Novant to try to get an explanation, and they couldn’t give me any straight answers. They just kept saying this is policy,” said Cooper.

Cooper says he called his insurance companies, and they said it’s not a valid bill, and they weren’t going to pay it.

“Novant explained that this is for the administration of the COVID-19 - not for the price of the COVID-19 - but for the administration of COVID-19 both times.”

Cooper says when he and his wife got their shots, no one explained they would be charged any fee. He pointed to the CDC website that says vaccination providers cannot “charge you directly for any administration fees”.

“So I’m real confused,” said Cooper.

Since the Coopers couldn’t get any answers from Novant, WBTV Investigates contacted the hospital and we were told “a temporary system issue may have resulted in a limited amount of patients receiving a bill in error. To be clear, there is no cost to any patient for the COVID-19 vaccine or administration fee.”

They say if you got a bill, disregard it.

Novant says it’ll be in contact with patients about this, but if you did submit a payment, it’ll be reimbursed.

That’s a relief to Cooper, who was worried the fee may turn some people off from getting vaccinated.

“When the disenfranchised people cannot afford to pay these, what’s going to happen to them? Is it just going to get put on their credit rating or will bill collectors call them or what’s this about?”

Novant says they do submit the administration fee to insurance providers, but insurance providers are mandated to cover that fee by the federal government. Novant also says they’ll work to get fees covered for people without insurance.

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