Yes, you read that headline right! A recent rapid Covid test at my local airport cost $200 a person! Since a visit to grandparents was on the travel itinerary, a fast and convenient rapid Covid test at the airport pharmacy would give peace of mind for a safe trip around others. I chose the airport testing facility because the results are speedy with the wait time that day just under 30 minutes. I also appreciated that no appointment was necessary and one could walk right in and be tested right then and there. That is exactly how it went. After entering the XpresCheck facility at 11am, the paperwork, test and negative results were done and in hand by 11:45am. Also quickly in hand was a whopping $200 payment receipt. Yep, $200 a test!
Ouch twice! Although, the discomfort of the test swab (it really isn’t too bad) was a lot less painful than the price tag, if you ask me!
However, I wasn’t upset about the crazy cost because I had heard that health insurance companies must cover Covid testing. After my trip I called Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) twice and was told two different answers with each call. Yes, this is confusing to both the insurance companies and the customers. The first BCBS rep told me that zero reimbursement would be given to me because the rapid test wasn’t referred by a doctor and wasn’t deemed medically necessary. However, then I looked up the CMS.gov government guidance on this and found that to be incorrect information. So, I called back and the next insurance agent told me that it appears the airport test provider is out of my insurance company’s network so a portion of the cost may be reimbursed to me if I fill out an online claim with my insurance company. If I want to argue my case beyond that, then I must fill out an appeal form.
Am I going to do all the paperwork? I’m not sure yet. $200 is significant, but there is also the time versus money argument. I considered waiting until I had my insurance answer before I blogged this, but I’m guessing that will take a long time to resolve. And I wanted to get this out so folks know the hefty price tag that surprised me. So, my quick tip today is…
*For a really rapid test (especially if you are flying and a negative test is required for your destination) then the airport test checked all the boxes with the rapid part from start to finish.
*You will leave with a handy official letter stating that you are Covid negative.
*The location of the testing center couldn’t be more convenient since it is close to the gates.
*BUT be warned…you will also experience a rapid loss to your wallet with the $200 price tag! Be sure to check the facility pricing before you go to be checked for Covid19, especially at the airport!