LabCorp — credit card charge required for guaranteed services
I was astonished when the receptionist asked me for my credit card to charge the full cost of the laboratory testing. When I asked why, I was told it was LabCorp policy. Eventually, I was shown a copy of their policy. The policy, "Notice of LabCorp's Credit Card Authorization Program, " acknowledges "that for some insurance plans there is no additional patient responsibility such as co-payments, coinsurance or deductibles for laboratory testing covered by the insurance plan." The technician came in and said I had the choice of using or not using LabCorp if I didn't like it.
I looked up my benefits. According to 2012 Health Plan, "This program gives you and your dependents the option of receiving 100% covered outpatient laboratory testing if your doctor sends your lab work to LabCorp for processing. This is an optional program."
I asked what protections LabCorp uses for my credit card information and what assurance did I have the credit card would not actually be charged, or if it was charged, how it would be removed. After all, my health plan ensures there are NO patient charges if we use LabCorp. The lab technician (no name tag) indicated the Notice of LabCorp's Credit Card Authorization Program again. The statement says "LabCorp secures credit card data and protects it with LabCorp's network. LabCorp meets payment card industry standard."
Is there an industry standard for guaranteeing a charge when there is already a party committed to paying 100% of that charge?
Who makes sure the authorization for payment will be removed after the Health Plan - LabCorp transaction is completed?
How long do I carry the charge on my bill?
Why should my credit card be held hostage if there is a dispute between my Health Plan and LabCorp?
I don't have any answers to those questions. When I contacted my health plan, the representative said I was the first to complain. She said the credit charge was contrary to the contract between the health plan and LabCorp and thinks it is an isolated incident. I doubt that.
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