Friday, October 9, 2020

Can I Be Charged A Covid-19 Fee?

Questions From Our Members

J. Garcia of Santa Fe, New Mexico asks: 

“When I finished my dental appointment and went to check out and pay my bill I noticed that I was being charged $15.00 for a COVID-19 surcharge.  Can you explain what this is, and what´s the difference between that and the normal Bio–Hazard Disposal Fee?”

Savon’s Answer

Dental centers, as a rule, have always maintained a clean and sterile environment.

The Bio–hazard fee that we have always allowed helped offset the relatively minor cost of the chemicals needed to sterilize the operatories.  With the new stricter government regulations for COVID-19 sterilization, the cost of the chemicals needed have sky-rocketed.

Most dental and medical facilities are now charging a COVID-19 surcharge to cover these additional costs.  Although it´s not popular with patients, this additional fee has been approved by the agencies that help control and regulate the medical industry.

The surcharge is not only showing up at medical facilities, you can also find it added to your bill at many restaurants.  It is our hope that this additional cost will go away at some point as we find our way back to “normal” life.  If it doesn´t go away then we will have no choice but to incorporate it into the Schedule of Benefits at some future point.

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