Paying for mandatory drug testing

I have applied for a desk job in a fire department.  They have a mandatory drug test for all new hires.  I’m not worried about passing – I’m clean as a whistle.  When they called to tell me to come in for the drug test, they told me to bring my health insurance card.  Are they allowed to bill my health insurance for their mandatory drug test?  That doesn’t seem right to me, but I really need the job.

Clean New Hire in Texas

Dear Clean New Hire,

Yes, they can bill your health insurance or they can bill you for the test.   State and federal law are not specific about this.  Nevertheless, as long as having the employee pay does not have the effect of discouraging minority job applicants or lowering the employee’s wage below the federal minimum, the employer can charge you for the test.

Billing your health insurance is a form of billing you, even if your health insurance were from your employer.

That said, you could tell them you would prefer not to use your health insurance and see what they say.  They may offer to cover it for you.



Linda Riddell

About Linda Riddell

A published author and health policy analyst with 25 years’ experience, Linda Riddell's goal is to alleviate the widespread ailment of not knowing what your health plan can do for you.