COVID-19 Test Class Action: CareCube Billed Patients for ‘Free’ Tests in New York
Two New York City residents filed a class action lawsuit in February 2022 after they were billed $450 total for two COVID-19 tests they received from CareCube, a testing center. In the company’s promotional materials online and elsewhere, the testing center stated that most forms of insurance would cover the virus tests.
Now, the two central plaintiffs are seeking to hold CareCube liable for $10 million, which would be paid to anyone who received wrongful bills for the company’s virus tests.
CareCube’s Misinformation and Wrongful Billing for COVID-19 Testing
In addition to the Bronx couple filing the CareCube lawsuit, Sabine Schumacher and Linda Cunningham, dozens of people have reported being wrongfully billed by the company.
CareCube has 20 test centers across New York and offers antigen swab testing and antibody testing that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved. Information on the company’s website between August 2020 to January 2021 stated that insurers would pay the costs of the COVID-19 tests and that patients would not be responsible.
However, many insured patients eventually received bills with two main line items: testing fees and doctor consultation fees. Patients say they did not receive these consultations, according to The New York Times. Additionally, some CareCube patients say their insurance providers paid for a test, but the patients still received an additional bill from the test center.
New York State Attorney General Investigates CareCube Billing
After receiving reports about CareCube’s misleading advertising and billing for testing, the New York State Office of the Attorney General began investigating. Attorney General Letitia James said companies that provide COVID-19 testing must be transparent about their fees and billing, stating that people should be encouraged to seek the care they need—without prohibitive concerns about hidden costs.
According to the attorney general’s office, free COVID-19 tests are available from centers that New York State runs. The New York State Office of the Attorney General also encourages those who have been wrongfully billed to file a report through an online reporting tool.
Private Testing Companies Made Billions on COVID-19 Testing
Because there are no U.S. regulations for the maximum amount that for-profit testing centers can charge for COVID-19 testing, some test centers have made billions throughout the pandemic—some without a background in medicine or science. As Consumer Reports notes, patients have been charged hundreds or even thousands of dollars for bundled tests, like those that CareCube offers.
Some say that companies have taken advantage of scarcity in COVID-19 test availability, charging a premium based on limited supplies. Additionally, because the U.S. government required insurance companies to pay for COVID-19 testing as a part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in 2020, some testing companies may have exploited this as an opportunity to receive additional funds (Kaiser Family Foundation).
Get Legal Help for Wrongful Billing from COVID-19 Testing
If you’ve been misled by the costs of COVID-19 testing and received a bill you shouldn’t have to pay, you could get legal help. Fill out our online contact form to connect with a lawyer in our network.