ANSONIA, Conn. (WTNH) — COVID-19 shots are supposed to be free, but some people in Ansonia are getting bills for them in the mail. We spoke with the mayor about it, and turns out he also got a bill.
Ansonia resident John Lepeska had a surprising reaction when he opened his mailbox not long after getting vaccinated for COVID-19 at a clinic in town.
“I laughed,” he said.
That reaction because in his mailbox was a bill for $60.01.
“I knew we weren’t supposed to pay so I just threw it in my desk drawer,” he said.
Another Ansonia resident threw his bill somewhere else– that resident was Mayor David Cassetti.
“I got the bill for $60.01, which I kindly filed in my garbage pail,” the mayor said.
John says the situation with the bills has become the talk of the town in Ansonia and he knows some people who are reacting differently.
“Oh yeah,” he said. “Everybody’s talking about it. People are aggravated.”
The clinics from which people were billed were run by Griffin Health.
Mayor Cassetti invited them to come into Ansonia to help get his city vaccinated. He tells News 8 he looked into the billing situation after getting calls from several residents. He says there’s an explanation for those bills going out when they shouldn’t have.
“I assured them this was a glitch on the part of the hospital,” said Mayor Cassetti.
Griffin Health issued a statement on its Facebook page. It reads, in part:
“Each individual will receive a letter in the mail documenting that bill was sent in error and that the charge has been voided leaving a zero balance due. Griffin will continue making phone calls to those who received a bill in error until all individuals have been contacted. Griffin will promptly refund anyone who made a payment on the bill sent in error.”
Late Monday, a spokesman for Griffin Health told News 8 they’ve contacted about 75% of the people who received bills and most are thankful that Griffin Health reached out to them to explain this wasn’t meant to happen and that no one will pay for any of the vaccination shots.
“It happens,” John said. “What are you gonna do?”
Mayor Cassetti hoping this situation doesn’t discourage people from the vaccination process.
“That should have nothing to do with it,” the mayor said. “Go get your shot.”