Mar. 23—TRIAD — About 1,300 patients of Novant Health mistakenly were billed for COVID-19 vaccine appointments that are free.
Novant said in a statement that patients don't have to pay the inadvertent COVID-19 bill. Any patients who already have paid will be reimbursed, a Novant spokesman said.
"Our team is aware that a system issue may have resulted in a limited amount of patients receiving a bill in error," the spokesman said. "To be clear, there is no cost to any patient for the COVID-19 vaccine or administration fee."
The federal government has mandated that health care providers cover all administrative fees and other costs associated with vaccinations.
The bills were sent in error while the patients' accounts were pending reimbursement before it had a chance to be settled.
"We are also ensuring that the fees are covered for those without insurance," the Novant spokesman said. "Like with any service or procedure, we will submit a bill directly to insurance companies on behalf of our patients. Patients may see this on an estimate of benefits, but it's important to keep in mind, this is not the same thing as a bill."
The Novant customers who were mistakenly sent bills represent a fraction of the more than 205,000 vaccine doses administered so far through the entire health system.