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STD Testing Cost

STD testing cost can be expensive, but it’s important to look at the pros and cons of the various STD testing options to make the decision that is right for you.

The actual dollar price of how much does a STD test cost depends on which test you decide to take and where. A wide range of tests and test combinations are available in clinics and online.

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First and foremost, you want to make sure that the testing service you choose is reliable and accurate. If a testing service or product does not advertise validated accuracy results, we recommend looking elsewhere. The best test for you may also depend on how frequently you need to get tested for a specific concern about STD exposure. Let’s take a look at the differences between the most common testing options.

Medical Facilities

Doctors’ offices, hospitals and freestanding urgent care medical clinics all offer STD testing. This is the more expensive option of the possibilities listed below because these facilities will charge a doctor’s fee as well as lab fees and can total upwards of $400 before prescription costs.

Pros:

  • A healthcare professional can help answer questions about what tests are best for you.
  • Insurance can cover part or all of the testing cost.
  • The Affordable Care Act covers the cost of some STD screening at a facility.
  • A healthcare professional is available to help you understand results and talk about next steps if you test positive for an STD.

Cons:

  • You may need to schedule an appointment months in advance.
  • Wait time for an appointment can be long.
  • In addition to paying for lab tests, you also pay the doctor’s fees.
  • If you use your health insurance, your records become available to them and any of their affiliate insurance providers which may impact future insurance costs.
  • You have to go into a physical location to get tested.
  • Results are rarely available online and may take 2+ weeks to process.
  • Testing results show up on your permanent health record.
  • If tested positive, an additional copay cost will be needed to get a prescription.

STD/STI Testing Centers

Free or low cost STD testing clinics are readily available in most urban areas. A search for local STD testing centers will show various medical facilities, free clinics, and health departments providing STD testing. Unfortunately, these clinics are often overcrowded and underfunded.

Pros:

  • If you qualify, clinics will often provide a single test for free.
  • There are resources, which include counseling, for people who test positive for a sexually transmitted disease or infection.

Cons:

  • Free clinics and centers that base fees on a sliding scale (or offer free testing) will want written proof of your income.
  • Some STI testing facilities will not test you for free unless you are experiencing symptoms and as many as 80% of infections are asymptomatic.
  • You need to take time out of your day to go into a physical location to get tested.
  • Results are rarely available online and may take 2+ weeks to process.
  • Some clinics require you to sign up for Medicaid to cover your costs.
  • If you test positive, an additional copay cost may be needed to get a prescription.

Planned Parenthood

Most people know about the crusader for sexual health, Planned Parenthood, for its array of family health services, including STD testing. Costs will vary depending on your region. One clinic in Texas lists prices for tests between $30-$80 plus a $50+ doctor visit fee. Some test packages cost over $200.

Pros:

  • If paying out of pocket, no information will go on your permanent health record.
  • You can use insurance at most centers.
  • Teens, under age 18, get a 25% discount in many Planned Parenthood centers—check to confirm for your state.
  • Planned Parenthood is a sex-friendly, positive organization.
  • Some free treatment options are available if you test positive.

Cons:

  • Wait time for an appointment can be long.
  • Planned Parenthood will not test you for free unless you are experiencing symptoms and as many as 80% of infections are asymptomatic.
  • You need to take time out of your day to go into a physical location to get tested.
  • Results are not available online and may take 2+ weeks to process.

Rapid Testing Kits:

Pros:

  • Private and often anonymous.
  • You can test in the safety of your own home and receive results without having to go into a facility.

Cons:

  • Consumers do not have many options to choose from.
    Of the limited selection, many do not use reliable FDA-approved test kits or reputable labs. This means accuracy is not validated or guaranteed.
  • If you need emotional support or counseling you can’t be sure the testing kit company is equipped to handle it.
  • Some online sites only give pricing information after you fill out their forms and share identifying information about yourself.
  • Not available in most states.

myLAB Box At-home Testing

  • At myLAB Box, all of the results we provide are lab-certified and have the same level of accuracy as testing in a clinic or a doctor’s office.
  • myLAB Box is a fully integrated service from testing to treatment. We offer free consultations with certified STD counselors and physicians for anyone who tests positive using our service.
  • You can choose from a variety of test kits tailored to your lifestyle and needs starting at just $79.
  • myLAB Box accepts most Flexible Savings Account (FSA) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA) payment cards.
  • myLAB Box is the first service to offer extragenital testing (screening for oral and rectal infections) which is particularly important for the LGBT population and anyone engaging in oral or anal sex.
  • You can see your results online within 2-5 days of mailing in your sample.
  • The service is priced to be affordable without the use of insurance so we can keep your private data private.
  • Test for STDs anytime and anywhere.
  • You’ll never have to wonder about when you tested last – we will remind you!

Bottom line—you have plenty of choices depending on where you live, your finances, and need for anonymity.

Order Your Kit Now & Test AT Home!

Reviewed by Luis Ferdinand M. Papa, MD, MHA

References

  1. Jun JB, Jacobson SH. Application of discrete-event simulation in health care clinics: A survey. Journal of the Operational Research Society. 1999.
  2. Sheppard VB, Zambrana RE, O’Malley AS. Providing Health Care to Low-income Women: A Matter of Trust. Family Practice. 2004.
  3. Williams T, Schutt-Aine J, Cuca Y. Measuring Family Planning Service Quality through Client Satisfaction Exit Interviews. International Family Planning Perspectives. 2000.

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