Lab testing helps diagnose and track health issues. They can detect infections, blood sugar, cholesterol, and more. What if you’re uninsured? Lab tests cost how much?
This post answers this burning concern and provides advice on how to lower lab test costs without insurance. We will also discuss the most frequent lab tests and where to acquire them cheaply. Read on!
Cost of Lab Tests Without Insurance in 2023
The cost of lab tests without insurance can vary widely depending on several factors, such as:
- The type and number of tests you need
- The facility where you get tested
- The location where you live
- The availability of discounts or coupons
According to some estimates, the average cost of lab tests without insurance in 2023 is $1,543. However, this can range from $700 for a simple test to $2,589 for multiple test panels. Some tests can even cost over $3,000!
You can expect to pay $755 on average for lab tests if insured. Your insurance will cover some costs. You will pay a co-pay or deductible based on your plan. Keep in mind insurance only covers doctor-ordered tests. You pay full price if you order tests yourself.
To give you an idea of how much different tests cost without insurance, here is a table with some examples:
|Test||Average Cost Without Insurance|
|Complete Blood Count (CBC)||$140 – $622|
|Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)||$150 – $1,139|
|Lipid Panel||$303 – $843|
|Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP)||$330 – $1,309|
|Urinalysis||$129 – $643|
|STD Testing||$108 – $350|
You may observe that test costs vary greatly. Due to equipment, materials, or knowledge requirements, certain tests are more costly. A TSH test evaluates blood thyroid hormone levels, which impact metabolism and energy. A lipid panel evaluates blood cholesterol and triglycerides, which increase heart disease and stroke risk.
Types of Lab Tests
Many lab tests may examine your health and identify issues. Common ones include:
1. Complete Blood Count (CBC)
A CBC tests platelets, red blood cells, and white blood cells. It identifies diseases including anemia, infections, and bleeding. A CBC is usually done before surgery or as part of a regular evaluation.
2. Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP)
A Basic Metabolic Panel (BMP) measures substances like glucose, calcium, sodium, and creatinine. It diagnoses diabetes, dehydration, kidney disease, or electrolyte imbalance.
3. Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP)
A Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) includes a BMP plus liver function tests like albumin, alkaline phosphatase, and bilirubin. It diagnoses liver disease, malnutrition, or bone disease.
4. Lipid Panel
A Lipid Panel measures cholesterol and triglycerides. It assesses heart disease risk. It includes total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, and triglycerides.
5. Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
A Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) test measures TSH. TSH regulates metabolism and energy. It diagnoses hypo- or hyperthyroidism.
A Urinalysis analyzes urine. It detects UTIs, kidney disease, diabetes, or dehydration. It examines concentration, pH, protein, glucose, and more.
7. STD Testing
STD Testing checks for sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, HPV, hepatitis, and HIV. It prevents complications like infertility or cancer.
Where to Get Lab Tests Done Without Insurance?
Should lab tests become a necessity without insurance coverage, you possess a myriad of avenues. A few prevalent ones include:
- Lab Facilities: Such establishments focus on executing lab tests. Typically, they offer a plethora of test options and ensure prompt, precise results. Locating nearby lab facilities involves an online search or a referral from your doctor. However, these facilities may carry hefty fees without insurance, hence necessitating a price comparison before settling on one.
- Online Ordering Platforms: These digital platforms facilitate the ordering of lab tests to be carried out at a local lab facility. They typically provide affordable pricing and efficient service. A selection from various tests and packages is available, with payments accepted via credit card or PayPal. Upon ordering, you get a confirmation email containing a requisition form to print and present at your chosen lab facility. Results are delivered digitally within days. HealthLabs.com, Walk-In Lab, and Request A Test serve as examples of such platforms.
- At-Home Testing Kits: These kits enable the collection of your own sample, such as blood, urine, or saliva, at home for lab testing. Included are guidelines for sample collection and a prepaid mailing envelope for sending the sample back. Online results are typically available within weeks. EverlyWell, LetsGetChecked, and Pixel by LabCorp are examples of companies offering such kits.
Ways to Reduce the Cost of Lab Tests Without Insurance
If you want to save money on lab tests without insurance, here are some tips that can help you:
- Seek prompt-payment discounts: Labs sometimes offer reduced prices when patients pay immediately rather than awaiting a future bill, potentially cutting costs by up to half. Inquire about this choice prior to testing.
- Shop around for the best lab prices: There’s a vast price range among different labs based on factors like location, staff, equipment, and overheads. Explore and compare prices before settling on a facility. Use tools like Healthcare Bluebook or MDSave to discover the market rates for various tests in your vicinity. Independently run centers may offer better prices than hospitals for certain tests, including imaging and lab tests.
- Explore alternative testing methods: You might find online orders or home testing kits a viable option, depending on the type of test needed. These alternatives could prove cheaper and more convenient, though they might lack the precision and thoroughness of traditional lab tests. Speak to your doctor before deciding.
Seek financial aid or installment plans: If affording lab tests is challenging, you could qualify for financial help or payment plans from the lab or government. Many labs provide discounts or waivers to low-income or uninsured patients. Investigate any assistance programs they may offer. You could also be eligible for Medicaid, Medicare, or other government initiatives that could offset some or all lab testing costs. Check your eligibility and apply either online or via phone.