Public Health

How Much Does a COVID-19 Test Cost Without Insurance?

Khang T. Vuong, MHA
Khang T. Vuong, MHA6 Apr 2022

The price of a COVID-19 diagnostic test for individuals without insurance ranges from $36 to $180 per test. As the United States is now experiencing another wave of COVID-19 due to the delta variant, it is important to understand how to get tested for the virus. This article aims to help you understand how much you might have to pay if you are required to pay out-of-pocket and where to get tested at the lowest cost.

The Cost of a COVID-19 Test

Medicare covers COVID-19 testing in hospitals without cost-sharing for patients, reimbursing between $36 to $143 per diagnostic test, but there are no regulations on pricing in the private market. Although federal law still requires insurers to cover COVID-19 testing for medical reasons, tests for monitoring are not always covered. Insurers are not required to cover COVID-19 testing if:

  • It is part of employee return-to-work programs
  • Public health surveillance purposes

Prices for COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests in the Largest Hospitals in Each State

There are currently two main COVID-19 tests: diagnostic tests (PCR and antigen) and antibody tests. Most COVID-19 diagnostic tests will cost you between $100 and $200. However, you may need to pay additional fees for specimen collection and office visits. These fees will depend on your health insurance status, the test you receive, your site of care, and your symptom severity.

The Advertised Cost to Get Rapid and PCR COVID-19 Diagnostic Tests at Urgent Care Clinics

We called the top 23 urgent care facilities in the United States to gather data on the out-of-pocket cost of their COVID-19 diagnostic tests. 

We found that the average reported cost of a PCR test is $137, and the average cost of a rapid antigen test is $189. Overall, most urgent care clinics offer diagnostic testing at a price between $100-$200. The chart below shows the out-of-pocket price of PCR and rapid tests at several urgent care clinics. 

COVID-19 PCR Diagnostic Test Costs (administered at the clinic, sent to a lab to process)

ClinicPrice of test
MedExpressBilled to Labcorp and $119-$139 for visit
NextCare$175 - $375
NextCare Texas$275 - $450
CityMD*Waived copay
CareNow*Waived copay
GoHealth Urgent Care*Waived copay
Doctors Care$150
Fast Pace Urgent Care$50
Centra Care$179
Physicians Immediate Care$175
Aurora Health Center Urgent Care*Waived copay
Banner Urgent Care$250
MD Now Urgent Care$199
ProHEALTH Urgent Care$150
Urgent Team$50 + $120 for visit
Carolinas HealthCare Urgent Care$67.50
ExpressCare Urgent Care$260
Mira Membership$0 At-Home test

*See the section below regarding additional fees for testing 

Note: The costs below were reported by each urgent care facility. While some urgent care centers are advertising free testing, there have been instances where people have still received bills. See our section below for more information on additional fees. 

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COVID-19 Rapid Testing Costs (swabbed and processed at the clinic)

ClinicPrice of test
NextCare$175 - $375
NextCare Texas$275 - $450
CityMD*Waived copay
GoHealth Urgent Care*$250
Doctors Care$150
Fast Pace Urgent Care$200
Centra Care$179
Physicians Immediate Care$250
Aurora Health Center Urgent Care*Waived copay
ProHEALTH Urgent Care$180
Urgent Team$50 + $120 for visit
ExpressCare Urgent Care$260

*See the section below regarding additional fees for testing 

Cost of COVID-19 Test Across 50 States

According to a report by Castlight Health, an analysis of 30,0000 medical bills was performed, and it was determined that 87% of all coronavirus tests cost $100 or less. LabCorp reported that they charge insurers $100 for all COVID tests. New Jersey has an average price of $302 for COVID-19 tests, whereas the lowest cost is in Maryland at $62.

An important thing to know is that while the cost to get tested at the hospital seems reasonable; most patients will receive a much larger bill due to additional procedures and facility charges that can cost up to $2,100 per visit. 

  • Alaska - $201
  • Arizona - $141
  • Arkansas - $240
  • California - $143
  • Colorado - $146
  • Connecticut - $137
  • Delaware - $115
  • District Of Columbia - $249
  • Florida - $129
  • Georgia - $198
  • Hawaii - $226
  • Idaho - $125
  • Illinois - $188
  • Indiana - $176
  • Iowa - $143
  • Kansas - $147
  • Kentucky - $142
  • Louisiana - $174
  • Maine - $215
  • Maryland - $62
  • Massachusetts - $169
  • Michigan - $134
  • Minnesota - $175
  • Mississippi - $158
  • Missouri - $161
  • Montana  - $122
  • Nebraska - $173
  • Nevada - $111
  • New Hampshire - $190
  • New Jersey - $302
  • New Mexico - $172
  • New York - $175
  • North Carolina - $140
  • North Dakota - $141
  • Ohio - $161
  • Oklahoma - $174
  • Oregon - $141
  • Pennsylvania - $166
  • Rhode Island - $91
  • South Carolina - $113
  • South Dakota - $161
  • Tennessee - $140
  • Texas - $167
  • Utah - $149
  • Vermont - $169
  • Virginia - $122
  • Washington - $185
  • West Virginia - $161
  • Wisconsin - $151
  • Wyoming - $149

The Cost of a COVID-19 Test Depends on the Testing Site 

The CARES Act requires U.S private health insurance plans to cover COVID testing costs and The Families First Coronavirus Response Act is supposed to ensure free testing for those without insurance. However, we found that this is not always the case. Numerous patients have been charged anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars for COVID testing. 

There are multiple ways you can go about getting a COVID-19 test. The most important thing to know is that where you get your test matters. Below we outline the out-of-pocket costs for being tested for COVID-19 at different types of facilities. 

Out-of-pocket Costs for COVID-19 Tests by Facility

Urgent CareThe price of Covid-19 diagnostic testing at urgent care typically ranges from $100 to $200. However, it is possible to be charged additional fees to see a provider, administration of the test, or additional lab work. With these fees, you may be charged upwards of $600.
Community Health CentersMany states have set up free testing at community health centers regardless of insurance. You can find community health centers near you by searching on the Internet for Community Health Centers in your city. Here is the link to find Community Health Centers in NYC.
At-HomeSeveral companies are now offering FDA-approved self-administered at-home COVID tests. The out-of-pocket cost for an at-home COVID test is typically between $109 and $155. If you have insurance, your provider should cover COVID-19 tests and reimburse you for your test if it has been deemed medically appropriate.
Emergency RoomBased on data collected by Peterson-KFF, the median price of a COVID test done at a hospital is $127, and most tests cost between $100 and $199. However, you will likely be charged additional fees for being tested and treated in a hospital. These fees may exceed $3,100 in some circumstances.
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Additional Fees for COVID-19 Testing

In addition to the cost of your test, many urgent care clinics can charge additional administrative fees. These fees may cover:

  • The cost of seeing a provider
  • Facility fee (fee for seeking care)
  • Additional diagnostic tests (flu test, strep test)
  • Bloodwork
  • COVID test being sent to an external lab
  • Medications and other treatment

These additional fees, coupled with the cost of your test, can add up quickly. The amount you are charged largely depends on where you receive testing and the labs the urgent care center uses. LabCorp, for example, charges insurers $100 for its tests.

It is important to understand what may cause high fees for COVID-19 testing and the steps you can take to avoid these fees. See our article for a guide on how to avoid surprise fees when seeking COVID-19 testing. 

Factors That Affect the Cost of COVID-19 Tests 

The cost of COVID-19 testing and treatment depends on several factors: 

  • Geographical Location: COVID-19 testing costs vary across the country. If testing costs at your closest testing center are high, check the cost at other testing sites in your region to determine the most inexpensive testing site near you.
  • Symptom Severity: If you have severe symptoms, such as high fever, chest pain, and a cough, your provider may want to run additional diagnostic tests. Such tests raise the price of a visit to get tested.

Bottom Line

Understanding the price that COVID tests are supposed to cost and what expenses you can expect to pay can help you avoid hidden fees. 

By using Mira to help facilitate your in-person and virtual doctor visits, there are no hidden fees. Know the price of your services from the start. Sign up for a care membership with Mira today and a same-day appointment.

Khang T. Vuong, MHA

Khang T. Vuong received his Master of Healthcare Administration from the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University. He was named Forbes Healthcare 2021 30 under 30. Vuong spoke at Stanford Medicine X, HIMSS conference, and served as a Fellow at the Bon Secours Health System.