Lab tests are a common medical practice that many people get multiple times a year. There are several routine lab tests recommended by professionals, like STD testing, lipid panels, and more. Most major medical insurance covers the cost of lab testing due to the Affordable Care Act. However, without a plan, lab services can get costly.
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Are Lab Tests Covered By Insurance?
Routine lab tests are an excellent form of preventative care. Lab tests can provide insight into your health, and potentially detect harmful medical conditions. There are several recommended lab tests to get each year, but the costs can quickly add up. Fortunately, most major medical insurance companies cover the cost of lab tests, including Medicare Part B. Certain lab services have limited coverage policies under Medicaid and must be deemed medically necessary in order to be covered.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) lists lab tests as one of the ten essential health benefits that Americans are entitled to. Therefore, almost all health plans will cover lab services that your doctor may order. Because these preventive care measures are covered in full, there won’t be a copayment or coinsurance. This stands even if you haven’t met your yearly deductible. It is important to note that these lab services may only be free to you if ordered by a doctor or other healthcare professional in your plan’s provider network.
Under the lab services benefit of the ACA, the following tests are included:
- Biopsies: Doctors take samples of tissue or unusual growths to test for potential health concerns.
- Blood and fluid tests: Blood, urine, sweat, and other fluids are commonly obtained for lab testing. This can be used to look for drug interactions, nutrient levels, or the presence of certain medical conditions.
- Pathology: Healthcare professionals use screenings such as the throat or nose swabs to determine the presence of an illness.
- Pregnancy tests: If you get bloodwork completed to confirm pregnancy, your insurance will cover the cost.
- X-rays and diagnostic imaging: Expensive imaging tests, such as CT scans, MRIs, and x-rays are used to identify diseases or abnormalities in the body.
Talor graduated from Penn State University with a B.S. in Biobehavioral Health, and minors in Spanish and Diversity & Inclusion in May of 2022. She has a passion for health equity and diversity in health. In the future, Talor hopes to work in public health policy reform to help eliminate health disparities. She enjoys reading, cooking, and listening to podcasts in her free time.