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 depending on which test you are getting, where you are tested, and if you have insurance or a health care plan.
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 lab testing costs.
"“[I] got a surprise bill recently for $900 for a laboratory I've never heard of. After some investigating 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.
Below are some common lab test and blood work orders and a brief description of what they measure as well as when you may need to get this type of test.
CBC - Complete Blood Count
A CBC measures your white blood cells, red blood cells, hemoglobin, hematocrit and plasma. CBCs may be done when a doctor is concerned about a potential infection, wants to monitor a chronic medical condition, or monitor 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 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 and 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 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 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 lab test without insurance?
The price of lab tests without insurance can vary depending on the facility you get tested at, a health plan you may be covered by, and your location in the United States.
These are the out-of-pocket price ranges of tests for an individual with no 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 prices 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 differ by over $1,000 depending on which hospital you seek care at. It also important that hospitals have price transparency in terms of what they will charge for lab tests.
Therefore, it’s important that you don’t assume that lab tests will be the same price at any location. You can call multiple places in your area to find out what their cash price is before deciding where to get your lab tests. Not all of these tests require hospitals and can be done at a clinic or physicians office.
Another alternative is to get a membership, such as Mira, that will give you a flat rate for any laboratory test you may need.
How to get affordable lab tests without insurance?
With or without health insurance, lab testing can end up being a large expense on you and your family. When signing up for an insurance plan, it is important to be an informed customer and understand 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.
Mirais 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