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WGLT's reporting on the coronavirus pandemic, which began in McLean County in March 2020.

Insurance Shift Raises Questions At COVID Testing Sites

Man wearing mask leaning into vehicle to speak with driver
COVID testing sites are now required to ask for insurance information, but won't bill those who are getting tested.

A recent change in state of Illinois policy regarding insurance reimbursements for COVID-19 testing has raised concerns that the public may be billed for the tests, but health officials say that’s not the case.
Starting Oct. 1, COVID testing sites in Illinois are required to request health insurance information from people who receive a test.

Some who were recently tested at the community-based clinic in Bloomington have asked if they were going to end up with a bill.

Aaron Rossi, CEO of Reditus Laboratories, the Pekin-based firm that runs the testing site at the Interstate Center,said testing remains free at the site.

“People with health insurance are not billed for co-pays or costs not covered by health insurance, and people without insurance will continue to be covered by the state or the (federal) CARES Act,” Rossi said in a statement.

McLean County Health Department Administrator Jessica McKnight said IDPH is seeking reimbursement from the insurance companies, but won’t bill clients.

“There should be no cost to the individual,” McKnight said in an email. “If the insurance does not pay or only pays a portion, the state is not billing the individual for the balance.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed the policy in an email. 

"Insurance information is being collected so that insurance can be billed for the testing. There should be no cost to the individual," the email stated.

More than 60,000 tests have been conducted at the testing site in Bloomington since it opened in late March. Reditus took over the site in May and it remains open seven days a week. The site averaged 513 daily tests over the last week. 

LeRoy physician Tom Pliura who has been providing COVID and antibody testing at several locations including Bloomington, said as a private provider his office has been required to seek insurance information since testing began, but that federal CARES funding covers all remaining costs. 

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Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.
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