What you should know about billing for COVID-19 and related services

NOTE: COVID-19 vaccines are free to patients. We will bill your insurance company for an administration fee to cover costs related to giving you the vaccine. But you will not owe anything for your vaccine, even if you do not have insurance.

COVID-19 Testing: Circumstances around COVID-19 continue to change quickly. We are working to keep pace with guidance from lawmakers and insurance companies about billing for COVID-19 testing and related services.

If you are uninsured and need a COVID test, you should call the health department in your county or visit the state health department's site for a list of free testing sites near you. Vanderbilt Health Walk-In and Walgreens clinics may need to conduct additional tests and examinations, which could result in out of pocket costs. Vaccinations continue to be free of charge, regardless of insurance status.

Your health should be your primary concern.  It is ours, too. Below you’ll find information to address some of the most common questions.

Why am I getting a bill for COVID-19 testing, COVID-19 vaccination or related services?

  • VUMC's billing system is built to take information from your insurance company and send you a bill for what the insurance company says you owe. If you have received a bill for these services, we encourage you to call your insurance company to ask why they are sharing those costs with you. (More about “cost sharing” below).
  • Some insurance is "self-funded" by employers. These plans are regulated differently than others and your employer may make different choices about which costs to pass on to you as a plan member. To find out if you have a "self-funded" insurance, contact your employer.
  • You also may find helpful information in the “explanation of benefits” or EOB that your insurance company provides. Several insurance companies have guides on how to get and read read EOBs:

What is cost-sharing?

  • The amount the insurance company tells us (or any doctor or hospital) that the patient must pay. These include “co-pays,” “co-insurance” or “deductibles."

What are COVID-19-related services?

  • Regulatory agencies haven’t provided a specific list yet. To date, insurance companies can each have their own list and process claims according to their own rules.

Why do you need my insurance information?  COVID-19 testing and related services are supposed to be free.

  • Currently, federal legislation says that patients should not have to share costs for COVID-19-testing or related services. For Vanderbilt to be reimbursed for the costs of testing and other services, we have to bill your insurance. Insurance will pay VUMC for the testing and related services according to rules set by Congress, but each company may interpret the rules differently.You may receive a bill for what is not covered by your insurance company.

Why didn't you take my insurance information when I came to the assessment site?

  • Your safety, and that of our employees, is our top priority. To help limit spread of the coronavirus and speed assessment for everyone, we may not have asked you for your insurance information. We still need to bill your insurance company to be reimbursed for cost of services provided.
  • Some clinics at VUMC require a patient to be assessed prior to any COVID-19 testing.  This may result in additional charges that will be billed to your insurance.  If you feel any of these charges are not warranted, please contact your insurance carrier. 
  • To bill your insurance correctly and recover our costs, please confirm that we have your correct insurance information: 
    • If you have a My Health at Vanderbilt account, please sign in and make sure your coverage information is correct.
    • If you do not have an account, sign up for one today,
    • If you need help with your My Health at Vanderbilt account, check here

What if I don't have insurance?

  • Patients without insurance have availability to the HRSA COVID-19 Coverage Assistance Fund.  This fund helps reimburse providers for COVID-19 services.
  • If you are uninsured and have received a statement for COVID-19 testing, please call (615) 936-0910 to speak with a customer service representative.

What if I am an employee of VUMC and was exposed at work?

Who can I talk to regarding the billing questions?

  • Please send us a message through My Health at Vanderbilt or call (615) 936-0910 to speak with a customer service representative.

Can I get financial assistance?

  • You can find more information about financial assistance here.  
  • If you would like to speak with someone about financial assistance, please call (615) 936-0910.