With the number of coronavirus cases climbing throughout the country as the holidays loom, daily testing trends are expected to continue increasing. (Photo: Shutterstock)

New data from America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) indicates that price gouging for COVID-19 testing is on the rise. The association’s survey of health insurance providers in the commercial market, conducted in October, found that 23% of all claims for COVID-19 testing came from out-of-network test providers — a 14% increase since July. Moreover, many out-of-network test providers charged prices that far exceeded the average cost of in-network tests.

On average, a COVID-19 test in the commercial market costs $130. But out-of-network test providers charged more than $185 for nearly half of all diagnostic tests and one-third of all antibody and antigen tests. That’s a 10% increase since July, according to AHIP. Additionally, as many as 16% of out-of-network test claims charged more than $390, which is three times the average cost.

Related: The question of who pays for COVID testing is getting more complicated

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