Billed For Covid Vaccine

(WSVN) - One woman was accused of forging a document to get a COVID shot. Another was billed for the COVID vaccine. Both were irritated and wanted the problem solved, so they turned to Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

A lot of people want to get the COVID shot. Many people need that shot.

Tangela Lawson, wouldn’t accept paperwork: “I qualify because I’m a healthcare worker, and I’m at risk because I deal with patient care all day.”

Tangela downloaded the state form required for healthcare workers to get the vaccine, and the doctor she worked for signed it.

Tangela Lawson: “It’s a document stating the doctor agrees he wants us to be vaccinated because we’re very vulnerable to COVID-19.”

Tangela was excited as she headed to the vaccination site in Boca Raton, where she met an employee clearly not excited to be there.

Tangela Lawson: “I said, ‘Ma’am we work for a physician, a primary care physician in Coral Springs,’ and she said, ‘Oh no, this looks forged.”

Tangela couldn’t believe it.

Tangela Lawson: “She kept saying that this looks forged.”

And so, she told Tangela to leave.

So close to the shot, only to be accused of committing a crime to get it.

Tangela Lawson: “It was embarrassing. It was belittling. It was bad. Everybody was staring at me, accusing us of fraud.”

We are hearing from people who qualify to get the shot and meet that one employee who says, “Nah, take a hike.” Howard, can they do that?

Howard Finkelstein, 7 News Legal Expert: “No, if you are qualified, it’s illegal to block you, but because there is no uniformity in the various sites and the rules seem to change every day, you have to be politely persistent. Ask to speak to a supervisor. Some of these sites have various agencies working together. Talk to someone from another government agency to make headway, but don’t give up. Get that shot.”

Debbie got the shot at a hospital with no problem — good for her and her husband.

Debbie Harlem, billed for COVID shot: “I work in the medical field. Then, I go home, and I have a husband that has leukemia, and it’s concerning.”

Debbie didn’t have any side effects from the vaccine, but a letter in the mail did affect her.

Debbie Harlem: “It says Moderna ADM SARSCOV2 second, $106, and I said, ‘This is for my vaccine.'”

Needless to say, Debbie was surprised.

Debbie Harlem: “The federal government is telling me this is a free vaccine.”

But, the bill said Debbie owed $106 for that Moderna shot.

Debbie Harlem: “For $106, I said, ‘No, I’m not going to pay it, and that’s when I got a hold of Help Me Howard.”

A bill for a COVID vaccine. Howard, what do you do if you get one?

Howard Finkelstein: “First of all, don’t pay it. Call them and tell them, ‘You messed up. I don’t owe you anything.”

From the COVID shots to cash, specifically the $1,400 stimulus money that will be coming out soon. Howard, what can people expect?

Howard Finkelstein: “It’s the third time the IRS has sent out a direct deposit or check, so you should get it pretty quickly, and not only will taxpayers get $1,400 each, but they also get $1,400 for their children. To see if you qualify and when you can expect the stimulus money, click the link down below for that information.”

We spoke to the hospital about Debbie’s $106 bill for the COVID vaccine. They said it was a mistake, and she didn’t owe the money.

Tangela Lawson: “She gave the vaccine to me and my coworker.”

Tangela finally got the shot after showing proof she was a nurse, and she hopes other people with the proper paperwork don’t have to go through what she did.

Tangela Lawson: “If the governor put a form up and added different things for different people to get injections, I think you need to abide.”

And the grumpy employee aside, the vast majority of people we are talking to say the employees at the vaccine shots are wonderful. The sites are well run, and they add the shot doesn’t hurt much.

And remember, it you aren’t eligible yet, you can always show up at a vaccine site as it’s about to close because they do not want to waste shots and will give them to anyone who is there.

Got a problem needling you? Don’t have a shot at solving it? Contact us. You don’t need an appointment. Everyone is eligible with us.

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CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:
Email: helpmehoward@wsvn.com
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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