MALIBU—The city of Malibu is alerting consumers about an alert issued by California Attorney General Xavier Beccerra on Tuesday, March 2 about some healthcare providers reportedly charging individuals a COVID FEE when they seek treatment.
The city of Malibu reported on its website a “COVID FEE is an additional charge, purportedly for more frequent cleaning and disinfecting, and greater use of Personal Protective Equipment, also known as “PPE,” during the COVID-19 pandemic. Medi-Cal and Medicare patients may not be charged a “COVID fee.””
Medi-Cal: For those with Medi-Cal or Denti-Cal, one should alert their doctor’s or dentist’s office that they may not charge a COVID FEE to Medi-Cal or Denti-Cal patients.
For those being charged a COVID FEE they are asked to call the California Department of Health Care Services Medi-Cal Member and Provider Helpline at 1-800-541-5555 to report it or to ask questions about the fee.
Medicare: For those being charged a COVID FEE please call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE to report it or ask questions about the fee.
Private Insurance: Individuals with private insurance can ask their provider why they are being charged a COVID FEE and what the COVID FEE covers. In addition, individuals can ask their insurer if the provider can charge you the fee under your insurance plan rules. Those with questions should also alert the California Department of Managed Health Care at 1-888-466-2219 or visit their website at https://www.dmhc.ca.gov/fileacomplaint.aspx. You can also contact the California Department of Insurance at https://www.isurance.ca.gov/01-consumers/101-help/ or at 1-800-927-4357.
Tricare: Patients enrolled in Tricare may not be charged a COVID FEE at in-network providers. It may only be appropriate to charge a COVID FEE to a Tricare member when: (1) the patient does not inform the provider ahead of time that they have Tricare, and (2) the provider sends a written notice about a COVID FEE to the patient before an appointment. For more information please visit https://www.tricare.mil/ContactUs/ReportFraudAbuse.
Individuals who have bene charged a COVID FEE by a doctor or dentist to contact their health or dental insurance company and ask for a reimbursement.
For those who are a Medi-Cal, Denti-Cal, Tricare or Medicare Dual-Eligible patient and have been charged a COVID FEE, file a complaint at www.oag.ca.gov/report and report which healthcare provider charged the fee, as well as the name of your dental or health insurance company.