Griffin Hospital accidentally sends out COVID-19 vaccine bills to Ansonia residents

Griffin Hospital in Derby.

Griffin Hospital in Derby.

Autumn Driscoll / Autumn Driscoll

ANSONIA — Griffin Hospital scrambled to correct a billing error that resulted in residents receiving bills for COVID-19 vaccines.

The vaccines are provided free of charge. Residents began to voice their concerns on Facebook late last week after they received the bills, said Mayor David Cassetti, who said he began fielding complaints from residents late last week.

Griffin Hospital said in a statement that a coding error was to blame and apologized for any confusion to anyone who received the bills.

The hospital said the coding error was discovered May 21 and those sent bills were told of the mistake as soon as the hospital could do so, according to a statement released on May 23.

“Starting that afternoon, Griffin’s Business Services staff members began calling individuals that received a bill in error to inform them they are not responsible for the vaccine administration charge,” it stated.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has stated that the COVID-19 vaccines are free and should not be charged to recipients. The hospital did not say how many received the bills but stated that it is still attempting to contact everyone who received the bill.

One of them turned out to be to Ansonia’s mayor.

Cassetti said that the bill made no sense since the shots are free.

“My reaction was that it had to be a glitch because we've been advertising that these shots are free, and the cost is coming from the federal government,” Cassetti said.

The hospital has also stated that they will issue refunds to anyone who has paid the bill.

Cassetti said that he was pleased with the hospital’s response.

“Really no big deal. They're a good partner with the city of Ansonia so it's over with,” he said.