Government officials have spent the past nine months assuring that testing and treatment for COVID-19 is affordable. But is that true? 

inewsource and KPBS are partnering to investigate the unexpected and burdensome medical costs associated with COVID-19 in San Diego County. You can help us uncover the real cost by sharing what you’ve been charged for coronavirus testing or treatment and sharing your medical bills.

Reports have flooded in from around the country of patients receiving unexpected bills following a coronavirus test. You can reach us at or fill out this form to share your story.

Under new federal laws, insurance companies are required to pay the full costs of COVID-19 testing without charging a patient anything. Those laws were enacted to help COVID-19 patients avoid medical debt. But there are situations — sometimes unavoidable — that can lead to major charges anyway. Receiving treatment from an out-of-network doctor or taking an ambulance to the hospital could result in a big medical bill.

Even if you’ve never had COVID-19, you might be bearing the cost burdens of the pandemic. Some nursing homes and dentists, for example, are charging unknowing customers extra fees to make up the money spent on personal protective equipment for their workers. 

If any of these situations sound familiar to you, we could use your help. inewsource and KPBS are launching “What are the real costs of COVID-19?” — a project investigating unexpected and burdensome medical costs during the pandemic. Sharing your story with us will help us uncover problematic billing practices and inequities in the healthcare system that hurt San Diego County residents.

Here’s that contact information again: or fill out this form to share your story with us.

Thanks for your help, and stay safe.

Type of Content

News: Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Jill Castellano is an investigative data coordinator for inewsource. When she's not deep in a spreadsheet or holed up reporting and writing her next story, she's probably hiking, running or rock climbing. She also loves playing board games and discussing the latest chapters with her book club. Jill...

Tarryn Mento is the health reporter for KPBS. She has reported from three countries and in two languages. Her work has been published by The Washington Post, the Center for Public Integrity’s iWatch News, and El Nuevo Herald. Prior to serving as KPBS' health reporter, Tarryn was the multimedia producer...