Insights

How Much Do Lab Tests Cost Without Insurance? Blood work, STD test, Urinalysis, and more

Mira Research Team06 Nov 2020

Quick Digest - how much is a blood test?

  • Some of the most common laboratory tests are complete blood count, thyroid-stimulating hormone test, lipid panel, basic metabolic panel, and urinalysis.
  • The blood test cost without insurance can vary from $100 - $1000+ depending on the health care plan, geographic location, and site of care.
  • A membership with Mira will give you access to lab tests for $50 at any affiliated walk-in clinic.

 

How much does blood work cost without insurance?

There are thousands of lab tests, including blood tests, on the market. The cost of a lab test varies greatly and can range anywhere from $100 to over $1,000. The price depends on the type of test, the location, and the type of insurance.

 

Real experiences overpaying for lab testing

Below is an account of an individual who was surprised by the high cost of their laboratory testing. Unfortunately, this is not the only account of this nature. Many people are overcharged and mislead by ambiguous healthcare costs.

"I got a surprise bill recently for $900 for a laboratory I've never heard of. After some investigation, it turns out they were used by a new doctor of mine, who is in my network. But the lab they sent it to is not, and they never called me to confirm or ask my permission first. 

Now I'm getting bills from the lab saying I am past due, even though I never authorized this nor was I aware of it until far beyond when it happened back in 2017. My provider is suggesting I talk with my doctor about it and try to contest the rate, but it seems like I'm far past any action point since services were already rendered last December" 

(Source:https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/99ghui/innetwork_doctor_sent_my_work_to_outofnetwork_lab/)

 

7 most common lab test panels

Below are some common lab tests and blood work orders. We offer a brief description of each test measures as well as when they may be ordered.
 

CBC - Complete Blood Count

A CBC measures your white blood cells, red blood cells, hemoglobin, hematocrit, and plasma. CBCs may be done when there is a concern about a potential infection, chronic medical conditions, or overall health.

TSH - Thyroid Stimulating Hormone

A TSH test is used to assess how well the thyroid is working by measuring hormone levels in the body. Your doctor will likely recommend a TSH test if you show symptoms of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. 

Lipid Panel

Lipid panels test the levels of different types of cholesterol in the body, including HDL, LDL, and triglycerides. HDL is considered good cholesterol while LDL is considered bad cholesterol.

Basic Metabolic Panel

A basic metabolic panel tests for kidney function, glucose levels, and electrolyte balance. Basic metabolic panels are often done at routine visits. They include 8 specific tests: glucose, calcium, sodium, potassium, bicarbonate, chloride, blood urea nitrogen, and creatinine. A comprehensive metabolic panel may be recommended for more extensive testing.

Urinalysis

Urinalysis tests (urine tests) can be used to detect several conditions, such as diabetes, kidney disease, and urinary tract infections (UTI). Urinalysis tests are often recommended during pregnancy, routine health exams, and when experiencing kidney-related symptoms.

STD - Sexually Transmitted Disease Testing

STD panels can test for a multitude of sexually transmitted diseases including chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, syphilis, hepatitis, and trichomonas. It is recommended that all sexually active women under the age of 25 get gonorrhea and chlamydia tests once a year. For more information on when and how to get an STD test, see our article here.   

Vitamin Panel

Vitamin panels can test levels of up to 13 vitamins, including vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, C, D 25-Hydroxy, E, K, and Folic Acid. This panel will assess whether your body is getting and absorbing appropriate nutrients. These tests can help you decide whether you need to take vitamin supplements.

 

How much does it cost to get a lab test without insurance?

The price of ordering lab tests without insurance can vary. Blood test cost typically depends on the facility you get tested at, your health plan, and your location in the United States. 

Using publicly available data, we offer a price breakdown for five laboratory tests. These prices are for California hospitals, such as hospitals in San Francisco and Los Angeles

(source: 2019 hospital submitted Chargemasters)

These are the out-of-pocket price ranges of tests for an individual without insurance.

  • Complete Blood Count (CBC):  $140 - $622
  • Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH):   $150 - $1,139
  • Lipid Panel: $303 - $843
  • Basic Metabolic Panel: $330 - $1309
  • Urinalysis: $129 - $643
  • STD Testing: $108-$350

Note: the STD testing out-of-pocket costs are from previously collected data and not from the Chargemasters source.

 

What is price transparency and why is it important?

Price transparency is being aware of the cost of your health service and medical expenses. As seen in the data above, the cost of a simple test result can vary by over $1,000 depending on which hospital you seek care at. 

Therefore, you should not assume that lab tests will be the same price at any location. You can call multiple locations in your area to find out their cash price before deciding where to get your lab tests. Not all lab tests require hospitals and can be done at a clinic, primary care facility, or physician's office. If you are covered by insurance, you should check in with your insurance company to see what tests are covered. 

Another alternative is to get a membership with Mira. Mira will give you a flat rate for laboratory tests at one of our affiliated walk-in clinics

 

How to get affordable lab tests without insurance?

With or without health insurance, lab testing can end up being a large expense for you and your family. When signing up for an insurance plan, it is important to be an informed customer. You should research how much you will be responsible for paying when getting a lab test. There are also some other solutions, such as Mira, that offer lower cost and affordable lab testing for members. 

Mira is a membership that gives members access to lab testing, prescriptions, and doctor visits for a low price. A membership with Mira costs $300 annually or $45 month over month. Mira allows you to get lab tests for $50 or less.

Better yet, you can find, book, and pay for each service you need and tests online, in a minute or less. For more information, see our homepage: https://www.talktomira.com

Mira Benefits
 

Sources:

https://www.aamc.org/system/files/c/2/450000-pricetran_commondefs.pdf

https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/complete-blood-count/about/pac-20384919

https://medlineplus.gov/lab-tests/tsh-thyroid-stimulating-hormone-test/

https://labtestsonline.org/tests/lipid-panel

https://oshpd.ca.gov/data-and-reports/cost-transparency/hospital-chargemasters/latest-chargemasters/

https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/99ghui/innetwork_doctor_sent_my_work_to_outofnetwork_lab/

https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/99ghui/innetwork_doctor_sent_my_work_to_outofnetwork_lab/

 

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