When it comes to diagnosing various illnesses, it’s not only the various imaging procedures that have the upper hand. Blood tests are not just supplemental tests; they can also be at the forefront when discovering various anomalies in the body that may not be visible to any medical monitors available. Blood work is very extensive, so you can expect the prices to be the same. To know exactly how much does blood test cost, the article will discuss several factors that affect the pricing.
Average Cost Estimate
When it really comes down to the price of blood work, there are basically two ways to look at the national average that prospective patients will be charged. These are whether you have insurance coverage or you pay entirely out of pocket.
Some patients who are cleared for co-pays will only be paying around $0 to $30. Patients without insurance roughly entail a national average fee ranging between $100 and $3,000, depending on several factors, which will be discussed below.
Factors Affecting the Cost of Blood Tests
Of course, several other factors will come into play to determine exactly how much you need to pay for your blood work and other medical procedures. These are the following:
1. Insurance Coverage
Considering that the blood work request from your physician has qualified for health insurance coverage, the national median coinsurance coverage is around 10% to 50% of the projected out-of-pocket fee bracket.
It is important to note that there are three elements you have to consider when understanding how health insurance coverage works. These are the deductible, co-insurance, and co-payment. So, what you will be paying for will depend on these three items on your policy.
However, the charges for blood tests, if you pay entirely out of pocket versus the actual amount the facility or hospital would bill the insurance company, would greatly differ by a mile. But one prevailing reason is that most facilities give enormous discounts to patients who pay cash in order to bypass having to go through the rigid process of insurance claims.
2. Number of Required Blood Tests
Another important cause of the wide cost gap would be the number of blood tests a doctor requires to diagnose a certain disease. Multiple panel diagnostic blood work is charged per individual type of test done.
The lowest average fee may qualify for as much as a 50% discount in some hospitals, even without insurance.
3. Types Of Blood Test
In determining the exact blood test cost, patients must know the different types of blood tests prescribed by doctors. This enables patients to have an idea of the rough estimate of the possible total bill for diagnostics.
This provides patients the option to waive blood testing at a referred health center and choose a more affordable laboratory instead.
These are some of the most common types of blood test and their costs:
- CBC – $10 to $150
A complete blood count (CBC) is a diagnostic test prescribed by physicians in order to have a clearer perspective of the extent of infection or trauma. Doctors are looking for an imbalance in terms of the volume limit for red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
A basic indicator of infection is manifested by the increase of white blood cells. Certain diseases are also associated with a decrease in red blood cells.
- Chem 7 – $35 to $100
Also known as the basic metabolic panel or BMP exam, this type of blood test screens three crucial areas of the blood chemistry. Doctors ordering the Chem 7 tests are keeping an eye on the electrolyte level, kidney function, and blood glucose.
This type of blood test is a preliminary step to detecting maladies in the internal system such as diabetes, nephritis (kidney inflammation), and hypertension, among others.
- Chem 12 – $48 to $250
In terms of the national median estimate, the usual cost of a blood test for Chem 12 is significantly higher compared to other categories. Essentially, the comprehensive metabolic panel or CMP blood test is a more extensive version of the BMP exam since it includes liver function.
Due largely in part of the expensive fee, most patients would simply opt for Chem 7 coverage.
- Lipid Panel – $57 to $200
The objective of the Lipid Panel test is for doctors to verify the cholesterol count in the patient’s blood. This test is crucial in determining a wide range of illnesses resulting from increased bad cholesterol, such as congenital and acquired heart diseases.
Like CBC, the Lipid Panel test is universally prescribed in annual checkups, especially for employment purposes.
- TB Blood Test – $287
Otherwise known as the Interferon Gamma Release Assay or IGRA, this test aims to diagnose whether a patient has TB germs in the body. This is in place of the TB skin test.
For cheaper options, cash basis payment and choosing public facilities or other inexpensive laboratories are some of the ways to go. For example, a test for TB costs $77 plus another $29 as a charge for extraction at the San Francisco Department of Public Health Disease and Prevention Control. At CVS, they charge around the same amount. However, they do not have insurance options.
4. Facility and Location
Again, depending on the facility you choose and also what state you are in, you will likely encounter different pricing for your blood work. This is because each laboratory has its own cost of doing business to take care of and other overhead expenses to recoup.
For example, at Charleston Area Medical Center in West Virginia has the following rates:
- Blood Type (ABO/Rh) – $10
- Complete Blood Count (CBC) – $10
- Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) – $15
- C-reactive Protein – Cardiac High Sensitivity – $15
- Free T4: Free Thyroxine – $15
- hCG, Serum (Pregnancy) – $15
- Hemoglobin A1C – $15
- Hepatitis C Antibody Screen – $20
- Iron – $10
- Lipid Panel – $15
- Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) – $15
- Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) – $15
- Uric Acid – $10
- Urine Microalbumin and Protein – $10
- Urine Microalbumin/Creatinine Ratio – $10
Considering the enormity of out-of-pocket blood work costs and the complicated criteria for qualifying health coverage plans, one of the most viable options for undertaking necessary blood tests is to seek low-cost laboratories like US-based discount laboratories.
Among the top selections that immediately pop up when you search online are the following:
- PersonaLabs – PersonaLabs has been operating as a user-friendly online reference for over 10 years. This website directory features 2,300 cheap blood test clinics in all 50 states. The rate for the blood tests starts at $36 for the glucose, serum, and lipid panel set up to $1,324 for the carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) blood test.
PersonaLabs requires patients to print a doctor’s order. Blood test results are available in 2 days. This service provider has four basic categories, namely: men, women, allergies, and STD’s.
- Econolabs – EconoLabs has a total of 4,000 locations across the United States. One of the best features of this online directory is that it guarantees a total of 80% savings in terms of the overall blood work price.
This service provider also has four basic service categories. The Annual Checkup Panel caters to all types of patients requiring the necessary yearly workup. STD testing entails either a 6-panel or 10-panel examination. The Thyroid Screen Test is designed to rule out cancer in patients. Lastly, the special MMA panel is designed to screen professional fighters, as required by the local or national sports commission.
Some of the blood tests offered and their corresponding costs are CBC with Platelet with Differential ($58), Drug Test Panel ($499), Liver and Kidney Test ($109), Mononucleosis Test ($105), and Quantiferon or TB Test ($299).