Does Insurance Cover STD Testing?
Many people hesitate to get tested for STDs because they aren’t sure how much it costs or if their insurance will cover it. If you need to get tested, it’s important to know what to expect when it comes to STD testing and insurance. Here’s what you should know:
Is STD Testing Covered By Insurance?
Insurance plans usually cover STD testing at your doctor’s office or at an STD testing clinic, but the specifics of this coverage will vary by insurance company.
The five largest insurance providers will cover:
- United Health Group – gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis and HIV testing for women. HPV DNA testing is also provided to women over the age of 30. HIV testing is covered for men, but no other information for men is given.
- Anthem – sexually transmitted disease screening as needed for sexually active persons. STD screenings for pregnant women are also covered.
- Aetna – yearly STD testing coverage (specific infections are not mentioned)
- Humana – STD testing is not featured in the preventive care section
- Cigna – chlamydia and gonorrhea screening for women under 24 or older women if they are at high risk. HIV screening for pregnant women, teens and adults between 15 to 64 years old, at-risk older adults, and sexually active women. This insurance provider also covers HPV DNA testing for women who are 30 years of age or older.
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), chlamydia and gonorrhea preventive screenings are free for women under 24 (older women are also covered if they are high risk. ACA also covers HIV and syphilis screenings for sexually active men and women. No other STD screenings are mentioned.
What is the Difference Between Preventive Screening and Diagnostic Testing?
Coverage for STD testing may depend on whether the test is considered preventive or diagnostic.
Asymptomatic STD screening is considered a preventive care service. A screening is a basic test given to a patient who does not show any symptoms of the condition in question. When a person does have symptoms, the pictures changes, as the chance of uncovering something greatly increases. Contact your insurance provider to find out which tests they cover or look on their website for a list of preventive care services.
Preventive care is separate from diagnosis and treatment, which will be billed separately. If you are experiencing symptoms your test is no longer considered preventive. Instead, it will be considered diagnostic,and will likely not be fully covered by insurance.
A diagnostic test is typically use to confirm a condition after the initial testing reveals the possibility. These types of tests are often more expensive and dangerous than the initial tests. But, in the end their usefulness will far outweigh their risk.
How Much Does an STD Test Cost With Insurance?
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), some preventive STD screening is free. This includes chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and HIV screening for women and syphilis and HIV screening for men. If your test is not included as a preventive screening or if you are experiencing symptoms and visit a doctor or clinic for diagnostic testing, the out of pocket cost will vary with your insurance plan.
Some clinics will offer a single free test for qualifying patients. Typically, you must show proof of income and have no insurance to qualify.
Is An At Home STD Test Covered By Insurance?
myLAB Box does not accept insurance because we don’t want to share our customers personal data with insurance providers or the Medical Information Bureau (MIB). Health insurance providers and their affiliates can use screening results to raise your insurance premium in the future. Results are also shared with the Medical Information Bureau as health risk codes which are available to other insurance providers. In addition, tests taken with insurance become part of your medical record and can increase your insurance premiums in the future.
We work to keep our tests affordable without insurance so that our customers are able to maintain their privacy and insurance premium without losing access to STD testing and accurate results. We provide the same lab-certified results that you would receive from your doctor’s office or a clinic.
Although we do not accept insurance, myLAB Box does accept HSA/FSA payment cards.
How Much Does an STD Test Cost Without Insurance?
The cost of an STD test without insurance will vary depending on the type of test and whether you choose to take the test in a clinic or at home. If you visit a clinic or doctor’s office to take an STD test, it may cost several hundred dollars without insurance.
Taking an at home STD test may be a better option if you don’t have insurance. myLAB Box individual test kits for chlamydia+gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, HPV, syphilis, genital herpes, HIV, mycoplasma genitalium and hepatitis C are $79 each. We also offer combination test kits that test for multiple infections and are more cost-effective than purchasing individual test kits. Combination test kits are best for routine asymptomatic testing and testing when symptoms could indicate one of several different infections.
What Are the Benefits of Using Insurance for STD Testing?
STD testing with insurance lowers the cost of being tested. If cost is a barrier, it is definitely better to test with insurance than not to test at all. Read more here.
But remember, insurance will not cover every type of STD testing. It’s important to read through your policy to determine which types of STD testing are covered by your provider.
Who Can See My STD Test Results if I Use Insurance?
Any test taken using insurance can become part of your medical record and be used by insurance companies in the future. Results are reported to the insurance company directly and are often accessible by the companies’ affiliates.
Insurance providers often send an Explanation of Benefits (EOB) to the primary account holder for billing purposes that may include information about tests received by other account members. This means that anyone using a family insurance plan may be sending their testing information home. In addition, many insurance providers have online portals that provide access to tests taken and results.
When Should I Get Tested For STDs?
If you are sexually active, it’s important to understand when you should get tested for STDs. It’s wise to get tested if you meet any of the following conditions:
- You are having unprotected sex.
- You want to have unprotected sex with a new partner.
- You or your partner are not monogamous.
- You are exhibiting symptoms of an STD.
- You’ve tested positive for an STD in the past.
If you aren’t sure whether or not you need to get tested, talk to your healthcare provider to see what they recommend.Your healthcare provider can tell you which types of STDs you should test for and how often you should get tested.
How Do STD Tests Work?
The process will vary depending on the type of STD test you choose. STD testing may involve:
- Urine test
- Cheek swab
- Blood test
- Pelvic exam
- Testing genital sores
- Testing discharge from your vagina, penis, or anus
At-home STD tests are typically urine or blood tests. It only takes a few minutes to collect a sample and it’s completely pain-free, so there’s nothing to worry about.
Don’t Let the Cost Stop You From Getting Tested
The bottom line is you should never let the potential cost prevent you from getting tested. There are a number of ways to get tested for STDs without breaking the bank, so you shouldn’t be concerned about the cost. After all, you cannot put a price on your health.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I TEST POSITIVE?
If you test positive, instruction will be provided on how to obtain a free telemedicine consultation with a physician in your state. This physician may be able to prescribe treatment for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea or Trich. Depending on the infection, you may also need to retest after treatment to confirm the infection is gone.
It is crucial that you inform your sexual partners of your test results, whether they’re positive or negative. Sharing this information will help stop the spread of any infection and will allow your partners to seek testing and treatment immediately if necessary.
Keep testing. Just because you’ve tested once does not mean that you shouldn’t test again. In fact, it’s common to get infected with certain STDs, including chlamydia and gonorrhea, multiple times. myLAB Box recommends that you test every few months, especially if you’ve received a positive result in the past.