Coronavirus (Covid-19) and the bills: Two friends were tested for coronavirus. One bill was $199. The other? $6,408. – The New York Times

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

“Before a camping and kayaking trip along the Texas Coast, Pam LeBlanc and Jimmy Harvey decided to get coronavirus tests,” Sarah Kliff writes over at The New York Times. “They wanted a bit more peace of mind before spending 13 days in close quarters along with three friends.The two got drive-through tests at Austin Emergency Center in Austin. The center advertises a “minimally invasive” testing experience in a state now battling one of the country’s worst coronavirus outbreaks. Texas recorded 5,799 new cases Sunday, and recently reversed some if its reopening policies.They both recalled how uncomfortable it was to have the long nasal swab pushed up their noses. Ms. LeBlanc’s eyes started to tear up; Mr. Harvey felt as if the swab “was in my brain.”Their tests came back with the same result — negative, allowing the trip to go ahead — but the accompanying bills were quite different. The emergency room charged Mr. Harvey $199 in cash. Ms. LeBlanc, who paid with insurance, was charged $6,408.” Sarah Kliff, “Two Friends in Texas Were Tested for Coronavirus. One Bill Was $199. The Other? $6,408.” The New York Times.