A group of Brooklyn-based doctors is facing a class-action lawsuit accusing them of charging hundreds of dollars for coronavirus tests to New Yorkers who think they get them for free.
The lawsuit, filed last week by two Bronx residents, Sabine Schumacher and Linda Cunningham, seeks more than $10 million in damages for the couple and any New Yorkers who say they were charged by CareCube. fees are too high. The complaint claims CareCube illegally charged the couple $450 for two tests conducted last June.
“It is sad that companies like CareCube are exploiting people during a global pandemic just to make a quick buck, especially in a hard-hit area like New York City,” Ms. Cunningham said. in a statement.
CareCube, which has 20 testing sites across the city, has faced a growing number of reports that it has overcharged customers who believed their testing would be free. Last month, Letitia James, New York attorney general, announced that she had opened an investigation into CareCube in response to complaints received by her office and other New York City leaders.
“We cannot create harmful financial barriers to prevent our community from seeking testing,” said Ms. “CareCube and all Covid-19 testing providers have a responsibility to be accurate and transparent in their payment processes.”
According to the lawsuit, from early August 2020 until at least January 2021, CareCube’s website explicitly states that the cost of the company’s virus tests will be borne by most health insurance companies. health pay. Later, the lawsuit said, the company’s website went on to note that insurers were obligated to cover the cost of testing patients for the virus at no cost, implying that insured customers would not charged.
Instead, the lawsuit claims, CareCube bills its customers for doctor consultations that the company says is part of its virus testing, but doesn’t actually provide.
In some cases, the lawsuit states, customers were told by their health insurance company that their insurance company paid CareCube for the check, but the customer was still charged.
“Carecube categorically denies the allegations in this complaint and will vigorously defend this action in court,” the company said in an email.
Dozens of customers have reported receiving unexpected bills from CareCube since last year. New Yorkers tell stores like City and New York Magazine that they were charged over $100 after checking in at CareCube and many visited sites like Reddit and Better Business Department to warn people to avoid taking the tests there.
Former CareCube employees told The New York Journal that the company often relied on elaborate loopholes to charge both insurers and customers for checks.
Federal law passed in March 2020 states that insurance companies are required to cover free virus tests for patients, including tests performed out of network. But patients nationwide have Report hacked with unexpected bills for virus tests Prices range from a few dollars to thousands of dollars.
Ms Cunningham said she and her partner were worried that CareCube’s payment methods would be particularly harmful to low-income New Yorkers who couldn’t afford to pay hundreds of dollars to get checked. .
“I hope that by supporting CareCube, all their other customers who were tricked into paying hundreds of dollars for fake doctor consultations for Covid tests will get their money back,” she said. .
Susan Campbell Beachy research contributions.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/23/nyregion/carecube-covid-test-lawsuit-nyc.html Complaint about CareCube charging for tests it claims to be free