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Hidden ‘COVID fees’ may be illegal

If you’ve visited the hospital, doctor’s office, dentist, or in some cases even restaurants during the pandemic, you may have seen a ‘ COVID fee ’ on your bill. This surcharge is intended to cover personal protective equipment costs and extra cleaning.

Now some state attorneys general say this additional charge, which can be anywhere from $5 to $1,200, is illegal.

The Washington Post conducted a survey of attorney general offices and financial departments in 52 states and territories. Consumers in 29 states have filed 510 complaints of coronavirus-related surcharges at dentist offices, senior living facilities, hair salons and more.

We’ve told you about these ‘surprise’ bills that include COVID fees, but this new survey indicates it’s still a problem for consumers.

In August, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel sent a cease-and-desist letter to 11 senior living facilities after 45 residents reported being charged $900 each in “supplemental COVID-19 fees.”

“This pandemic has caused financial strain for many people and businesses in Michigan, but that does not provide companies with the right to impose unauthorized costs on their customers and clients — especially those in our senior communities and others who are already living on a fixed income,” Nessel said in a news release.

Have you been billed for a hidden COVID fee? Share your story here.