Lost results? Hidden fees? Here are your top COVID test questions answered

From testing costs to worries about fake tests, the KPRC 2 Investigates team is getting answers to COVID test concerns.

If you haven’t taken a COVID test recently, you probably know someone who has. We are answering some of your questions about COVID testing and what to look out for when you visit a testing site. From testing costs to worries about fake tests, the KPRC 2 Investigates team is getting answers to COVID test concerns.

Last week, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee called for a federal investigation after KPRC 2′s Taisha Walker looked into COVID pop-up sites around town. We are answering some of your questions about COVID tests in our area.


Question: Can a COVID-19 testing site charge you for a test?

Answer: No, not technically, but you still may get a bill. Testing sites are allowed to charge you administration fees related to the test. We’ve seen everything from a $35 admin fee to a $4,000 charge for a doctor visit, even when the person never got out of their car. You should be checking your insurance bills to make sure your insurance company has not been charged various fees. In the end, some of those charges could get passed on to you.


Question: Can a testing site worker ask you for personal information?

Answer: A testing site worker might ask you for your social security number, government ID, or health insurance details. The Health Resources and Services Administration says providing that information is not required. The Houston Health Department affiliated sites only require you to provide your name and phone number.

Getting tested at Houston Health Department-affiliated sites is free, and does not require proof of residency, citizenship, or insurance. Here’s info on Fort Bend County’s vaccine program.


Question: If your results are delayed, or you have problems with your test, what can you do?

Answer: Because of the huge increase in testing and new locations opening around town, you may have delays in getting results. If you are trying to track down test results, you could ask the testing site which lab they are using. Then, you could contact the lab directly to see if there’s a problem with your results. Labs are backed up with samples. Visit FDA’s website for a list of authorized tests.


Question: If you suspect a site is breaking the rules what can you do?

Answer: The Texas Attorney General’s office encourages people who think they have encountered a testing site that is operating illegally to file a complaint with the consumer complaint division.


Question: What do I do if I discover extra COVID test charges?

Answer: A new law makes COVID testing price gouging illegal. State lawmakers passed a new law that makes price gouging for tests and vaccines during the pandemic illegal. The new law and enforcement of it are complaint-driven. That is why you should file a complaint any time you see freestanding ERs price gouging for COVID tests or vaccines.

The Texas Department of Insurance also has a list of tips on how to avoid extra charges.


Question: What is the best way to find a COVID testing location?

Answer: There are many resources for finding the right COVID testing location for you.


Do you have a question you would like us to answer? Contact our Investigates team and we will work to find an answer for you.