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Was your COVID-19 test not free? You could get a refund.

COVID-19 tests are supposed to be free under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — North Carolina just surpassed 11 million COVID-19 tests administered statewide.

Those tests are supposed to be free under federal law, whether you have private insurance, Medicare or are uninsured, but some say they still got a bill.

"I called into my doctor's office to see if I could get a test, and they said they were requiring a pre-test screening," Kurt Bradley said.

Bradley said he wanted a precautionary test before visiting his parents, but a few weeks later, he was confused after he received a bill in the mail.

"I got my bill for $200 and was surprised since I thought COVID testing and screening was covered," he recalled.

Healthcare experts said it should have been free.

Karen Pollitz, a health and insurance expert formerly with the U.S. Department of Health, is tracking COVID-19-related spending for the Kaiser Family foundation, a national health reform nonprofit.

She said some private companies and test sites can and have been charging for tests that are not "medically necessary.” For example, if you just want a peace-of-mind test before traveling or visiting family, you can also be charged for office and lab fees.

“They can charge separately for the office visit," Pollitz explained. "If they order additional tests, they can charge for those. There are some providers that are out there that are clearly taking advantage of these loopholes so that they can charge as much as they can get away with.”

RELATED: NC, SC to use part of $10 billion in federal dollars to test for COVID as students return to campus

Here's what to do if you get a bill you think insurance should have covered.

First, contact your insurance company. Your healthcare provider may have used the incorrect billing code for the test.

You can also file an appeal with your insurance company. They may reverse their decision and pay the claim.

To avoid a charge in the first place, ask your testing site before you go if they charge any extra administrative or office fees.

RELATED: Expanded testing part of Biden administration school plans

If your insurance company still refuses to cover the cost, you can take it up with the North Carolina Department of Insurance, which has assisted several North Carolinians to get full refunds. You can call the NC DOI at 1-855-408-1212.

The NC DOI's Smart NC program helps consumers resolve coverage disputes with their health insurance company. There is no cost to consumers for their services. Learn more here.

South Carolina residents can file a complaint or appeal with the SC DOI online here.

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