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Vt. Consumer Assistance Program gets reports of price gouging on COVID tests

Published: Jan. 18, 2022 at 5:29 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Rapid tests can be hard to find, and even as free tests come in from the state and federal government, you might need to buy some. So how much should they cost you?

Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan says the Consumer Assistance Program has received 10 complaints from people who believe they experienced price gouging on tests in the past two weeks.

In some complaints, folks paid $10-$15 more than they believe they should have based on looking at test prices online and at other stores.

Right now, rapid antigen self-tests sell at pharmacies like CVS, Walmart and Walgreens for anywhere from $9.99 to $38.99, with either one or two tests in a kit.

But you may have noticed stores that wouldn’t normally sell health care products have started to sell antigen tests, too.

Donovan says this is completely fine, as long as the prices don’t seem unusual.

“I think when you get into an unreasonable markup of a price, that’s a factor that we look at-- not whole-selling it, that’s not really relevant. It’s what is the markup and is it an unconscionable markup,” said Donovan, D-Vt. Attorney General.

Donovan says the Consumer Assistance Program is looking into these reports of price gouging and you should contact them if you have a concern.

If you must buy a test, check to see if your insurer will cover it. Many will cover the cost.

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