Hundreds erroneously receive bill for free COVID-19 tests in Huntington Station


Though their COVID-19 tests were supposed to be free, some Long Island residents have been surprised to see hundreds of dollars in bills after the fact.
St. Hugh of Lincoln Church in Huntington Station hosted a free COVID-19 test -- but that didn't seem to be the case for those who got bills of up to $760 afterwards.
State Sen. Jim Gaughran says he has gotten significant amounts of calls about the testing bills. He says he immediately reached out to the nonprofit Hudson River Healthcare to try and rectify the situation.
"We sent a letter to them, and then we got a response the next day that they would cure the problem and make sure nobody had to pay, so we're actually very pleased with that" says Gaughran.
The senator and Hudson River Healthcare say letters have gone out those who received a bill in error, telling them to disregard it.
A spokesperson for Hudson River Healthcare says more than 1,600 people on Long Island did receive a bill that was actually free. They say if a patient is uninsured and got a bill for a follow-up visit, they are not responsible for it.
But if they do have insurance or are covered by Medicare or Medicaid and received a bill for a follow-up visit, they say it will be covered by their insurer.
Two bills, totaling to $315, gave Lisa Breland some undue stress. A $100 bill came from BioReference Lab, but the bigger bill came from Hudson River.
Ann Darcy got a bill of $760 for a telehealth visit following her COVID-19 test at the same church.
"They did not ask for any insurance information. Because I brought my insurance card just in case," Breland says.
Bio Reference Labs says it is unaware of any potential billing issues, but are immediately investigating.
Hudson River Healthcare released a statement on the situation: