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URBANA — Carle Health said it accidentally billed about 30 uninsured patients for COVID-19 vaccinations, but has taken steps to prevent that from happening again.

“Thanks to reports from patients, Carle has uncovered an error in our billing process where approximately 30 uninsured patients received a bill for $55 for getting their COVID-19 vaccine,” a statement from Carle said Tuesday. “Carle acted quickly to investigate the source of this issue and has put a new procedure in place to prevent it from happening again.”

Carle is also contacting patients to alert them to the error and is asking anyone who is uninsured and got a bill for the vaccine to call 888-712-2753 for help.

Kayla Banks, vice president of women’s and children’s services for Carle Health, said Carle won’t bill any patients directly for the vaccine.

In accordance with the first federal relief bill passed a year ago, Carle will seek reimbursement from patients’ health insurers before requesting federal reimbursement for any remaining cost. But patients won’t have any out-of-pocket cost for the vaccine, she said.

Carle can seek reimbursement from the federal government for uninsured patients, but those patients won’t be responsible for any cost sharing, Banks said.

“Carle has worked with several patients who received an explanation of benefits from their insurance provider showing a patient balance, which caused them to believe they would incur an out of pocket cost, which isn’t the case,” Banks said. “Additionally, MyCarle (online patient portal) users have noticed real time charges posting before insurance has been applied and called to express concerns about their costs.”

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