Pennsylvania’s top insurance regulator is warning health insurers in the state that some doctors and dentists have been sending patients inappropriately high COVID-19-related bills.
Jessica Altman, the Pennsylvania insurance commissioner, says in a new notice that the Pennsylvania Insurance Department has been seeing two main types of potentially inappropriate bills.
One is dentists imposing extra charges for masks and other personal protective equipment and supplies.
The second is laboratories or other testing companies charging very high prices for tests for the virus that causes COVID-19.
- A copy of the new Pennsylvania notice is available here.
- An article about Molina health plan enrollees with COVID-19 is available here.
Some dental plans may have provider agreements and coverage contracts that let dentists pass personal protective equipment costs on to the patients, but other plans may not, Altman writes in the new notice, Notice 2020-19.
Similarly, Pennsylvania does let doctors and testing companies set COVID-19 prices, according to the notice.
But, even if doctors have warned patients about the testing prices, by posting the prices in their offices, “some laboratories or other testing services are charging amounts that are well in excess of their costs,” Altman writes. “Even if the charges are publicly posted, the amount may be considered improper price gouging.”