COVID-19 Testing Site Red Flags

Did you know, that with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there are many who are looking to profit off the fear? If you are in need of a COVID-19 test, beware that there are many testing sites popping up run by scammers. They may look real (with hazmat suits, signage, and tents set up), but fake sites are a real danger because they are collecting vulnerable people’s personal information, including Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, and health histories. While the FTC and local police are working hard to catch these scammers quickly, you can protect yourself by keeping an eye out for these signs of fraud.


Testing Site Red Flags

Asking to pay up front

EMI Health has negotiated discounts with our providers, and we pay for COVID-19 testing 100% for all medical members up to our Maximum Allowable Cost (MAC). This means that we pay a fair market rate for that procedure (even if the bill is higher than that). If a testing site requires you to pay up front and will not take insurance, it is a red flag that they might be trying to take advantage of you.

Price gouging

Some sites often charge more than the market rate. This is called “price gouging." In recent weeks, we have seen members asked to pay $150-$1,500 for a single test! If you pay them, EMI Health can only reimburse you up to our MAC, and only if the test was ordered by a licensed medical provider. To save yourself from unnecessary expenses, select a facility that will take your insurance card, so EMI Health can pay instead of you.

Random location

Real testing sites will be most likely be near medical facilities or government buildings. However, some testing sites are popping up in places you wouldn’t expect to be able to get a lab test. If you don't feel like the location matches that purpose, be wary of testing there. The best thing to do is go somewhere you have been referred to by your doctor or by your state or local health department’s website.


Go In-Network

If you need a COVID-19 test, the best thing you can do for yourself is to get a doctor-ordered test completed at an in-network provider or facility. This is the best way to prevent getting taken advantage of, and ensure that your test is covered 100% by EMI Health. Being smart and watching out for these 3 red flags will help you stay safe. We are on your side, and want to help take care of you and your family and prevent any harm. To find an in-network provider go to and click on “Provider Search” in the top right hand corner and follow the prompts. If you need additional assistance, call EMI Health Customer Service at 1-800-626-5851 or email We are always happy to help.

Reporting Fraudulent Sites

If you see or visit a testing site you believe to be illegitimate, please report it to your local police department. Thank you for all you are doing to keep the community and the people in it safe and protected from scammers.


Back to Blog

Related Articles

CARES Act - The COVID-19 Relief Package and What it Means for You

On Friday, March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security...

EMI Health Covering COVID-19 Testing and Treatment

During these unprecedented times, EMI Health has made important decisions about how we will cover...

COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

(Updated 12/1/2021) We’ve been hearing a lot of promising news lately about the vaccines against...