How to Get Affordable Blood Tests With or Without Insurance
By Nick Gold
In today's medical system we can all use lab tests to get a diagnosis for a wide variety of diseases such as diabetes, low testosterone, low thyroid, anemia, heart disease risk, etc. After the lab analyzes your blood, health care providers can identify specific ailments quickly, helping you get the required treatment on time.
However, the bad thing is that analyzing your bloodwork can be a seriously expensive and time-consuming procedure. Most people feel put off by surprising and unexpected medical bills of several hundred or even thousands of dollars for a blood test weeks after they got them done at their doctor’s office.
How Does Bloodwork Get Processed?
Let's say that you want to check the level of glucose or A1c in your blood or determine if your diabetes is in control. You can do that with simple blood tests which check for specific biomarkers. Based on that, the doctor can make lifestyle recommendations to avoid the disease or treat it successfully.
But to get your blood test done, you need to speak with your primary healthcare provider first. This fact seems to make people run into a lot of different problems caused by a poorly managed healthcare system.
This article strives to highlight some of these problems and help you find ways to deal with them. Luckily, direct-to-consumer blood tests are increasingly popular these days, and we'll be covering them in greater detail at the end of this article, so keep reading.
Top Issues Encountered When Ordering Blood Tests
You shouldn't merely avoid getting a critical blood test done just because the healthcare system puts a lot of hurdles in your way. One of the best things you can do is to continue to learn about the various situations encountered in a faulty American healthcare system and discover ways to avoid them.
1. My Doctor Doesn't Think I Need A Certain Blood Test
In most cases, people go to a doctor when they experience specific symptoms. For example, they have headaches, stomach pains, lower back issues or high blood pressure. They mention these symptoms to their primary healthcare provider and based on that the doctor can order specific tests.
However, thanks to the fact that the internet offers so much valuable medical information for free, people start to get educated about their health and make their own decisions. You can now order a test to check your testosterone level, whether you have issues of low testosterone or not.
The problem is that most doctors wouldn't approve of a particular blood test unless you have specific symptoms. They might probably dismiss your request as unnecessary, a thing which is very frustrating for most health-conscious people who want the best for themselves.
The good thing is that direct-to-consumer blood tests ordered online help you bypass the "doctor hurdle," so you can order any blood test you want to check the status of your health.
2. My Doctor Doesn't Order A Full Thyroid Test for Me
Deficient clinician knowledge about best tests to use to diagnose thyroid function issues is another problem that many patients experience. The thyroid gland is an essential component of your body. It's responsible for producing a wide variety of hormones and metabolizing different substances. If some of these hormones such as TSH, free T3, and free T4 are in abnormal quantities, you can experience major endocrine problems.
Some patients order a blood test to their doctors, but they only get approved for testing the TSH hormone, which is not a good thing because the other hormones are equally essential in the diagnosis of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. For example, some patients deal with thyroid problems which run in families for generations. Testing the full spectrum of thyroid hormones is recommended in this case to discover thyroid problems early and attempt to fix them.
3. I Want to Order Blood Tests, but I Don't Have Health Insurance
People who are not insured will find it much more difficult to get blood tests done. That's because no insurance bloodwork can get seriously expensive if you don’t have insurance. You'll eventually have to cover all expenses out of your pocket and depending on the blood test done, and the total cost can go up to several hundred or thousand dollars.
No one will be happy to pay around $1,000 or more for a simple glucose or thyroid test. Also, keep in mind that people might require to have their bloodwork done several times a year so paying medical bills can cost a fortune. Direct-to-consumer lab test companies can mitigate this problem because you can find no insurance bloodwork discounted up to 85% or 90% in some cases.
4. I Have Insurance, But It Doesn't Cover the Full Cost of Bloodwork
In some cases, having insurance doesn't automatically mean that you don't have to pay anything out of pocket. Some insurance companies might cover a portion of your medical of around 50% or 80%. The remaining cost will have to be covered by the patient, so you'll still have to pay with cash for specific blood tests. This out-of-pocket is called a co-pay.
Many people get shocked at bills they receive from lab testing companies after months from their blood draw date. These companies alert patients that they have a large balance since their insurance company refused to pay for the blood tests that their doctor ordered. Some insurance companies may deem specific blood tests or test frequency not medically justified even if a doctor deems them necessary.
Some patients have encountered situations when they had to pay around $1,000 just in co-pay. This considerable sum of money is a surprise that not everyone can afford to pay.
The reason why a part of the medical bill is covered by the insurance company, and the other part is not is because the patient might work with out-of-network healthcare providers. In other words, if your provider is not within the network covered by your insurance company, you should expect to encounter co-pays. If you do accept to pay it because you need the bloodwork done urgently, at least ask how much you are expected to pay out of pocket, so you know what budget to prepare.
5. I Have to Wait for Weeks and Pay for a Doctor Visit to Get My Bloodwork Results
It is a well-known fact that things don’t move very quickly in the American healthcare system. Some patients are usually forced to wait for weeks or even months before they can receive the results of their blood tests and also pay for a doctor’s visit. This fact is a huge inconvenience, especially if you need medical care urgently and your life depends on the results of your no insurance bloodwork.
These long waiting periods are caused by various factors. For example, your doctor might establish an appointment to draw blood in one or two weeks. After you have given your blood sample, it will take a while until the lab analyzes it. Then you'll have to wait for the results to be communicated by your doctor and this whole process can take up to 2 months in some cases.
Even worse, your hormonal levels differ from time to time. For example, people have certain levels of vitamin D in their bodies during summer times and completely different ones in the winter when sun exposure is limited. If you take the test in August and you get the results back in October, they might show that you have plenty of vitamin D in your blood, but this might not be correct during the autumn.
How Direct-to-Consumer Blood Test Can Save the Day
Direct-to-consumer blood tests are sold by various companies such as DiscountedLabs.com You can choose from multiple types of blood tests and order them online. Some of the lab tests included are glucose tests, thyroid tests, testosterone and estrogen tests, etc. The list is broad, and you can find details about various hormones and biomarkers in your body.
The main advantage of ordering direct-to-consumer blood tests is that they are ridiculously cheap, in comparison with those ordered by your doctor. For example, you can get a complete blood count test for about $25 and not have to pay hundreds of dollars for it if you choose to collaborate with your healthcare provider.
Best of all, direct-to-consumer blood tests can be done in days because the middleman is eliminated. Instead of having your doctor send your blood to a lab, you send it by yourself. You visit a lab location close to your home to draw blood, and that's it. The results will be emailed to you in a few business days, and you can interpret them against reference values found on the internet or have your physician discuss them with you.
Also, keep in mind that you’re still working with the same labs and the same experts as regular healthcare providers do. Your no insurance bloodwork is analyzed in safe conditions and adequately equipped rooms by specialized doctors. You get the same level of service and quality as if you're ordering the test with the help of your doctor.
The Solution - Order the Tests by Yourself!
In conclusion, it's important to remember that your healthcare provider is still your first line of defense against ailments and health problems. You should take his advice seriously and consult with him regularly if you have specific symptoms. With that being said, each time you need no insurance bloodwork, or you want to find out the level of certain hormones in your body, and you can take "shortcuts" and order the blood tests by yourself.
Check out the list of most popular blood tests available online to see how many hormones and critical lab tests that you can use to monitor your health more economically. DiscountedLabs.com has also created discounted lab test panels to make it easy to decide what lab test groupings work best for individual conditions or hormone replacement protocols.