While COVID-19 vaccinations are supposed to be free, some uninsured Bayonne residents have been charged after getting inoculated. The issue arose after a number of residents voiced their frustration on social media, complaining of charges of nearly $60 after getting their shots.
According to a spokesperson for CarePoint Health, operator of BMC, the charges were unintentional.
“There was a systems error discovered regarding the billing for vaccinations,” the spokesperson said.
A portion of patients without insurance and those who did not provide their insurance information were mistakenly billed.
“We will be sending out notices to those patients who received the invoices letting them know to disregard them,” the spokesperson said.
CarePoint added that the number of patients billed after being vaccinated was estimated to be a few hundred.
“The third-party vendor mistakenly sent out invoices to a little more than 200 patients which is about 1 percent of the 22,000 that the CarePoint system vaccinated,” according to CarePoint.
In a statement, Mayor James Davis said that the hospital “should never have sent out such bills.”
“People are not supposed to be charged for the coronavirus vaccinations,” Davis said. “We call upon the hospital to reimburse anyone who paid them. Nobody should ever pay for a vaccination.”
According to the state, the COVID-19 vaccine is either completely covered by insurance or is free for those who are uninsured.
“As we continue to roll out our robust statewide vaccination program, we want to make it clear to New Jerseyans that no one will have to pay for the vaccine itself, regardless of whether or not they have health insurance coverage,” said Governor Murphy in January.
While some residents who received the bills tossed them in the trash or planned on doing so, others who have already paid the fee will get their money back. Any patient who already paid the bill will be reimbursed in full, according to CarePoint.
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