The U.S. government is spending billions of dollars on the COVID vaccines. So why are some people being charged?

Tim and Vickie Gobin were excited to receive their COVID-19 shots last month. But when they arrived at the clinic they were surprised they had to give an insurance card.

“I said why do you need our insurance card, I thought this was free?” Vickie Gobin asked. “She said that is just a way to track you.”

So, Gobin handed over her card.

“Nothing was said about any charge or fee, so I got my shot, no big deal. But 10 days later, I get my bill,” Gobin said.

A bill for $45. Luckily, it said they owed only $11 after insurance.

“They paid $33.30 of that $45, and the remainder was billed to us,” Tim Gobin said.

But everything they heard was that the vaccine was supposed to be free. The CDC says while the vaccine is paid for by the government, some providers may charge a small administrative fee — one that should be covered by a person’s insurance or Medicare.

Medicare has agreed to pay up to $40 extra per shot, though some insurance companies may not pay that much.

Gobin thinks that’s not right.

“If I am just one of thousands that this may be occurring to, that adds up to a lot of money,” he said.

The pharmacy saving site Good Rx says if someone gets a charge, call the pharmacy or the insurer, many of them will drop it.