AUSTIN (KXAN) — What questions should you ask? Where should you go for testing? And are you sure you should sign that waiver?
These types of questions could play a major role in determining how much you pay when it comes to testing for the novel coronavirus.
To help you prepare, KXAN’s Tom Miller talked with Texas Department of Insurance Spokesperson Ben Gonzalez about what to do and what to avoid.
Tom: What should you do before you actually go and get tested?
Ben: What you want to do is talk to a doctor, because you have to have a doctor’s order that the test is medically necessary in order for it to be covered for free. That’s the federal law right now.
Tom: When you show up at the testing site, what kinds of questions should you be asking them?
Ben: You definitely want to say, ‘am I going to be responsible for any charges today? What are my out of pocket costs?’ Whether or not you have insurance, different places are charging different amounts.
Tom: Why are there tests that have nothing to do with the coronavirus test causing problems?
Ben: What happens sometimes is that additional tests will be added on. We’re telling people don’t authorize any sort of non COVID-19 test, unless that’s something your doctor has also ordered.
Tom: What types of medical facilities should people be avoiding when they’re going to get their tests?
Ben: For sure the emergency room is something that you want to avoid for just getting a corona test. Certainly, if it’s a medical emergency go, don’t hesitate. But if you’re just trying to get a test, the emergency room, whether freestanding or in a hospital is probably the least effective way to go. You’ll have to wait, and there’s typically a charge involved, at least a facility charge if you have insurance, probably a deductible as well.
Tom: If you’re not paying with insurance, what steps should you be taking to make sure that you’re not getting killed with out of pocket costs?
Ben: Our advice is that they want to contact a couple of different places. You can look on the Department of State Health Services website, they have a map of different locations. You just put in your zip code or your address and it’ll tell you places that are near to you. You’re going to want to contact those different entities and see what they’re charging. You’re going to have to do a little shopping for yourself if you don’t have insurance.