Written by: Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated: August 7, 2018
A CBC, or a complete blood count test, is a fairly routine laboratory analysis performed on a blood sample, usually extracted from a vein in the arm or hand using a needle. The main purpose is to help physicians determine your red and white blood cell count, which can help gauge your overall health and help diagnose a variety of health conditions. A doctor will often recommend this test if you are showing symptoms of anemia or other conditions which may affect your blood cell count.
How much a CBC blood test cost?
On average, a CBC blood test is going to cost anywhere from $15 to $45 for the test alone. This won’t include any doctor office visit fees if you were to visit your doctor to have the test done. The price will depend on where you have the test performed and if any other tests are performed with it. For instance, a test taken at the hospital will be the most expensive option, costing more than $85, while an online lab can be less than $50 when the lab, such as Quest Diagnostics or LabCorp, mails them the results.
For example, Medlabusa.com offer the test for a price that ranges from $43 to $48. Another lab that offers the service is YourHealthLab.com, a lab that offers several laboratory tests aside from the CBC blood test. The CBC blood test here is available for around $30.
Compass Healthcare says this test should cost about $150.
Clear Health Costs performed a study and had found the costs could range from as little as $16 at one diagnostic center to as much as $117 at another lab in the same city.
CBC blood test overview
The CBC test is going to evaluate your red and white blood cells, as well as your platelet count, hemoglobin, and MCH concentration, to detect infections as well as disorders such as anemia. The red blood cells are the cells that carry oxygen, while your white blood cells are ones that fight infections. Anemia, as mentioned, is commonly measured by this test since it can show a low red blood cell count if detected. Anemia is often from a low iron level that has a slow blood loss.
Results can be seen in as little as 48 to 72 hours.
What are the extra costs?
It’s very common for a doctor to order more than one blood test and it shouldn’t come as a shock if your doctor were to order two, three or even four tests at a time. At $50 to $150 per test, the total costs could surpass more than $600 without any sort of health insurance.
If you opt to visit your doctor to talk about the test and have it taken in the office, an office examination fee will be applied on top of the testing fees.
If the test results come back with a low cell count, additional testing may be required.
Tips to know
Unlike a lot of blood tests, fasting won’t be required.
CBC with or without differential — what is the difference? If the test has the term “dif,” which means with a differential, it will take a look at all types of white blood cells that are present. This differential count, in turn, will have individual percentages for each white blood cell type, which includes neutrophils, monocytes, basophils, lymphocytes and eosinophils. Each one of these types will play a different role when it’s protecting the body. If it has no differential, it will be a basic blood test and none of these percentages will be noted.
How can I save money?
If your doctor suggests that you get a CBC and does it in his office, it will most likely be covered by your insurance. Check with your provider to see what will be covered and what will not. If you don’t have a health insurance policy, consider looking for one at eHealthInsurance.com. Even if you have health insurance, you may find it doesn’t cover much since it may be a high deductible plan. If this were the case, talk with your doctor to see which blood tests are truly necessary and explain why you want to limit your blood work. Most doctors will be more than happy to work with your budget and recommend only what they feel is necessary to diagnose your situation.
Online labs will almost always be the best route to go if you want to save money. Before choosing an online lab, however, make sure they are reputable and licensed to perform the work.
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