Testing and Health Insurance
Does my health insurance cover testing?
If you have private health insurance, Medicare, or group coverage, you are probably covered for:
- Vaccines and boosters
- COVID-19 testing-related doctor’s visits
- COVID-19 treatment
Visit the following websites to learn more about how your health plan handles COVID-19 testing and treatment:
- Marketplace (healthcare.gov)
- Employee Retirement System (ERS)
- Teacher Retirement System (TRS)
Can someone without insurance get tested?
You can call 211 to be directed to no-cost or low-cost providers in your area. Your health care provider may also contact a local public health authority to decide if testing at a public or private lab is appropriate.
If you don’t have a doctor or health insurance but are worried that you might have COVID-19, check your local health authority’s website to see if there is a hotline that you can call for help.
How can I make sure my testing and treatment for COVID-19 symptoms were billed correctly?
Many health plans have waived out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19 testing and treatment. If you received a bill with unexpected out-of-pocket costs for COVID-19-related treatment or testing, call your provider to see if they made a mistake. You can also check with your health plan or group benefits coordinator at work to make sure these services were correctly coded.
An incorrectly coded service could cost you more than you should pay, and you may appeal it. Contact TDI’s Consumer HelpLine at 1-800-252-3439 or visit their website for information on filing a complaint.
COVID-19 Vaccine and Booster
Can I get the COVID-19 vaccine and booster for free?
Federal health officials have stated the vaccine is free for all consumers, and local health authorities have been organizing free vaccine clinics. You may have to pay your private vaccine provider for giving you the shot, but if you’re insured, your health insurance should reimburse you for this cost. If you’re uninsured, you can be reimbursed by Health Resources and Service Administration’s Provider Relief Fund.
Where do I get a vaccine and/or booster?
Visit Vaccines.gov to search for the closest COVID-19 vaccine/booster location to you. You can also call toll-free at 1-800-232-0233. You may text your ZIP code to find vaccine, childcare, and free rides to clinics to GETVAX (438829) for English and VACUNA (822862) for Spanish.
The State of Texas also offers a mobile vaccine program that provides a way for Texas businesses and people who are homebound to schedule free mobile vaccinations. You can call 844-90-TEXAS (844-908-3927) to learn more.
People with disabilities that need assistance getting vaccinated can contact the Disability Rights Texas Hotline (DRTx Vaccine Hotline) by phone at 1-800-880-8401 or email vaccine@DRTx.org.
I need to see a doctor but I don’t want to go into the office. What are my options?
Most health plans offer telehealth options such as nurse line or virtual visits with no copay. Visit your insurer’s website to learn more about your options.
I need medications, but I don’t want to go into the pharmacy. What are my options?
Some health plans allow patients to get a 90-day supply of medication, to limit the number of trips you must make. Ask your doctor and health plan if this is an option for you. Additionally, some pharmacies and health plans have programs that let you get your medications by mail.
What mental health resources are available for those dealing with stress during the pandemic?
The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for everyone. Many people are dealing with fear, anxiety, isolation, and loneliness. It is important to take care of your mental health. If you need help, please reach out. There are many free options available, including:
- Texas Health and Human Services (HHS) 24/7 toll-free COVID Mental Health Support Line: 833-986-1919
- National Disaster Distress Hotline: 1-800-985-5990 (press 2 for Spanish)
- National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) for English, 1-888-628-9454 for Spanish
- HHS Suicide Crisis Line: 2-1-1, option 8 and Crisis Text Line
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Coping with Stress webpage
You may also want to check with your health plan to find out what options are available to you. Many health plans offer special hotlines and cover telemedicine appointments for mental health care.
Have you suffered financial hardships due to COVID-19? You may be eligible for the Texas Homeowner Assistance Fund (TXHAF).
Texans who believe they’ve encountered price gouging should call 800-621-0508 or file a complaint online.
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