How much does a blood test cost in 2021? | finder.com

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How much does a blood test cost?

Compare payment options and costs for a blood test

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If you're a candidate for a blood test, costs vary significantly based on your insurance, where you live and the hospital or doctor you choose. Each procedure is assigned standardized, 5-digit CPT codes that hospitals and insurance companies use for billing purposes. Use the CPT code to compare prices for a blood test before scheduling your appointment.

Average cost for a blood test

If you have health insurance and use an in-network doctor, you can expect to pay $69 for a blood test on average. If you don't have insurance or you choose an out-of-network doctor, the cost increases to $211.

Average costs are based on the primary cost of a blood test in the 90201 ZIP code and don't factor in insurance costs like copays or deductibles, or additional fees often charged by doctors or hospitals — like medical supplies, facility fees and support services.

CPT code Procedure ZIP used Description In-network costs Out-of-network costs
80048 Blood test 90201 Basic metabolic panel $69 $211

Related costs for a blood test

CPT code Primary procedure Description In-network costs Out-of-network costs
36415 Medical Procedure Insertion of needle into vein for collection of blood sample $10 $30
80048 Hospital (Outpatient) Hospital Outpatient Facility (HOSPF) estimate for procedure code 80048 (in addition to your doctor's fee) $48 $130
Total related costs $58 $160

Does health insurance cover a blood test?

Most health insurance policies cover a blood test if it's medically necessary and you've met your deductible and any coinsurance or copays specified in your policy. If you don't have health insurance, you may need to pay the full cost of a blood test out of pocket. The exact amount your insurance pays for a blood test comes down to your plan and the doctor or healthcare facility you're going to. For the most accurate idea of how much you'll pay out of pocket, contact your insurance company before booking a blood test.

Does Medicare cover a blood test?

It depends on your Medicare plan, but generally Medicare covers procedures like a blood test that are considered medically necessary by your doctor.

  • Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) covers inpatient care in a hospital or skilled nursing facility following a hospital stay, so it typically won't cover a blood test.
  • Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) pays for emergency, urgent and outpatient care and some preventative services, which means Medicare likely covers a blood test — but you'll be charged a 20% coinsurance.
  • Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) is a comprehensive plan that combines Part A, Part B and often Part D and should pay for a portion of a blood test minus any deductible, copay or coinsurance.
  • Medicare Part D (Prescription Drugs) won't cover a blood test, but it may help to pay for any medication you need as part of your recovery.

What affects the cost of a blood test?

The price you'll pay for a blood test varies based on factors like:

  • Your health insurance plan. Your coinsurance, copay and how much of your deductible you've met affects the amount you pay for a blood test out of pocket, does as whether your doctor or anyone else involved is outside your network.
  • Your location. Where you live dictates which doctors or healthcare facilities you have access to for a blood test. Urban areas are more competitive, which can drive down costs for a blood test compared to rural areas.
  • Your doctor. Your doctor's experience and expertise affects how much they charge for a blood test. And the cost may increase if complications arise during a blood test and your doctor has to call in other medical professionals.
  • Additional fees. Your healthcare provider may charge associated fees that increase the overall cost of a blood test.

How to cut your costs for a blood test

In the leadup to a blood test, confirm your copay, coinsurance and deductible with your insurer so you know how much you'll pay out of pocket.

  • Dip into your HSA, FSA or HRA. These tax-advantaged accounts can help you to cover out-of-pocket costs for a blood test.
  • Ask about financial aid. If you can't afford to pay the average cost of $69 with or without insurance, most hospitals and clinics offer financial aid programs that include discounts or interest-free payment plans.
  • Explore outpatient centers. Outpatient facilities tend to charge less for medical procedures like a blood test, though they're not an option for everyone.
  • Consider medical loans. A medical loan could help pay for anything your health insurance doesn't cover for a blood test, like copays or coinsurance.
  • Compare doctors and hospitals. Lower the price of medical services by comparing in-network hospitals before you schedule a blood test. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services require hospitals and clinics to publish online price lists for common procedures, which may include costs for a blood test.

Bottom line

The price of a blood test is a major consideration for treatment whether you have health insurance or not. The amount you'll pay for a blood test can vary between doctors, hospitals, locations and insurance plans, which is why it's worth comparing hospital prices.

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