The cost of a blood test: with and without insurance

This post may contain affiliate links. Which means we may earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links. Please read our disclosure for more info.

Blood work is one way of keeping track of your overall health. It helps your primary care doctor to assess if the organs in your body are functioning well. It can also be used to search for health conditions or markers of diseases.

If you need to take a blood test, you probably want to know how much it will cost you with or without insurance.

What Is The Cost of Blood Work With and Without Insurance?

Blood work without insurance may cost from $100 to $3,000. The amount you have to pay depends on the type and number of tests you need and the costs of doctor visits.

If you have coverage, your insurer may cover between $29 and $525 of the costs of your blood tests. Meanwhile, your out-of-pocket costs for a blood test may range from $283 to $675, depending on your insurance plan.

You may order your own blood test without your doctor’s order through laboratories, such as LabCorp. However, your health insurance may not cover the costs of these tests. You also still need the help of a medical professional to interpret the results.

What Are The Factors That Affect The Cost Of Blood Work?

How much you pay for your blood work depends on the type of test you need. You will pay more if you need multiple tests. Other factors that affect the cost of your blood work include the facility where you will get tested, your location, and your insurance status.

What Are The Types of Blood Tests And Their Costs?

There are different types of blood tests, each serves a specific purpose.

Complete Blood Count

A complete blood count (CBC) checks the important components of the major cells in your body, such as the platelets, red blood cells, and blood cells. It measures your red blood cell count, hematocrit, and hemoglobin, to name a few.

This type of blood test helps your doctor determine if you have blood diseases or disorders like anemia, infection, or clotting problems. A CBC is recommended every year during your annual physical checkup.

A complete blood count may cost you between $10 and $2,700 depending on what kind of insurance you have and whether you have one or not.

Basic Metabolic Panel

A basic metabolic panel (BMP) consists of tests that will check your blood urea nitrogen (BUN), creatinine, glucose, albumin, carbon dioxide or bicarbonate (CO2), calcium, sodium, potassium, and chloride.  

The test will help your doctor determine whether you have any serious problems with your blood sugar levels, electrolyte levels, or blood filtration. It will also help uncover if you have problems with your lungs, kidney, or pancreas.

Just like the complete blood count, you should get a basic metabolic panel during your yearly physical exam.

A basic metabolic panel costs an average of $235. But the price varies depending on where you get tested, such as a lab, doctor’s office, or urgent care facility.

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel

A comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP) checks 14 substances in your blood to evaluate your body’s metabolism and chemical balance.

A CMP will check your glucose, calcium, chloride, carbon dioxide, potassium, albumin, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), Alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), bilirubin, blood urea nitrogen, and creatinine.

It’s generally part of your regular checkup. Your doctor may also order this blood test if they think you’re at risk of having a kidney or liver problem.

The cost of a CMP ranges from $10 to $132.

Prostate-Specific Antigen blood test

A prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test measures the level of PSA in your blood. An elevated blood level of PSA may indicate prostate cancer or benign conditions, such as inflammation or enlargement of the prostate.

Doctors encourage men who are at least 50 years old to take PSA blood tests every year. Aside from diagnosing prostate cancer, PSA tests may also be used to check for recurring cancer or assess if a treatment is effective.

A PSA blood test costs $20 to $40.

Vitamin Tests

Vitamin tests measure the nutrient, vitamin, and mineral levels in your blood. It can help determine if you have deficiencies in calcium, iron, folate, calcium, vitamin B12, phosphorus, and Thiamine. It also gives your doctor an idea of what vitamins or supplements you may need.

A vitamin panel test may cost you around $350 to $450.

Sexually Transmitted Infection Tests

Sexually transmitted infection (STI) tests can be done through a blood sample. For a more accurate diagnosis, your doctor may also ask for urine samples and swabs of the infected tissue.

An STI test can be used to diagnose sexually transmitted infections, such as syphilis, HIV, herpes, gonorrhea, and chlamydia.

An STI test may cost up to $300 depending on the number of STIs they screen for and where you get the test.

Lipid Panel

A lipid panel is a test that measures lipids, which includes low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), triglycerides, and cholesterol. It helps determine if you’re at risk of stroke or developing heart diseases.

Your doctor may order this test as part of your regular health exam. A lipid panel may cost between $19 and over $800 depending on whether or not you have insurance.

Antibody tests

An antibody test searches for signs of past infections or signs of antibodies in your blood. If it detects antibodies, it means your body responded to fight off a virus.  

An antibody test costs around $42.

How Can You Reduce The Cost Of Blood Work?

Blood tests can be expensive, especially if you don’t have insurance. Here are some steps you can take to cut down on costs:

  • Be honest with your doctor. Tell them that you have no insurance and ask if they have any suggestions on how you can keep the costs of the blood tests down.
  • Know what your options are so you can compare prices. Where you get your blood tests will affect the cost you have to pay. If your blood work is performed at an urgent care facility or doctor’s office, you’ll have to pay an additional fee for the office visit. You may also get it done at a laboratory facility or a hospital, which is the most expensive place to get a blood test. 
  • Check companies offering at-home blood tests, which you can order online and send back to the laboratory via mail. The tests are generally less expensive than those performed at a doctor’s office. However, you still need to go to your doctor to have the results interpreted, which means additional costs.
  • Check free clinics or community health centers that offer low-cost tests, including blood work for people without insurance.

Does Medicare Cover Blood Tests?

Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) covers blood tests if they’re ordered by your doctor or any primary health care professional for the diagnosis or monitoring of a health condition or disease.

The blood test must be deemed as a medical necessity for it to be covered. The costs of the blood work will be subject to your deductible or the amount you must spend out of pocket within a certain period every year before your insurance company starts to fund your treatments.

Medicare Part A

Medicare Part A will cover the blood test if it’s ordered while receiving in-patient care at a nursing facility or hospital.

The cost of the blood work is subject to your annual Medicare Part A deductible, which is $1,484 per benefit period. It starts from your admission date as an in-patient in a hospital and ends when you have been out of the hospital for 60 days in a row.

Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B will cover the blood test if it’s ordered as part of outpatient care that you received at a health clinic or doctor’s office.

The costs of the qualified blood work are covered in full as long as the facility that will perform the test is approved by Medicare. The cost of the blood tests will be applied to your Medicare Part B deductible which is $203.

If the laboratory that will perform the test isn’t Medicare-approved, you may be required to make a co-insurance payment (percentage of the cost you need to pay; 20% for Medicare Part B).

Medicare Part C

Medicare Advantage plans or Medicare Part C will pay for the blood tests that are covered under the Original Medicare, which means the same coverage rules apply.

It may also cover other blood tests that aren’t covered by Medicare Part A and Part B. The benefits you get vary depending on the type of Medicare Advantage plan you have so be sure to check on what tests are covered.

What Are The Common Blood Tests Covered By Medicare?

The common blood tests that are covered by Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B) are for conditions such as the following:

  • Diabetes – up to two blood tests per year
  • Prostate cancer – once a year as doctor advised
  • Cardiovascular disease – once every five years as prescribed by your doctor
  • Hepatitis B and C – once a year depending on your risk
  • Sexually transmitted diseases – once a year
  • HIV – once a year depending on your risk

If you require frequent testing due to certain risk factors, you may have to pay more. You should consider getting a supplemental plan, such as Medicare Supplemental Insurance or Medigap, for help in covering some of your out-of-pocket Medicare costs such as deductibles, coinsurance, and copayment (the fixed amount you have to pay when you receive certain treatments).

Conclusion

Blood tests help diagnose and monitor health conditions and diseases. The costs you have to pay for your tests differ with and without insurance. You’ll have to pay more if you’re not insured. Although there are ways to reduce the costs, it’s best to consider getting coverage, especially if you have certain health conditions or are at risk of having health problems.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *