There are many types of allergies, and each requires a different test for diagnosis. On average, an allergy skin test will cost between $60 and $300, and an allergy blood test can cost between $200 and $1,000 if paid without insurance. Since allergies affect more than 50 million Americans and are the sixth leading cause of long-term illness in the US. In the US, it is essential that people understand the true cost of allergy testing and treatment.
explanation of allergies
Allergies occur when your body’s immune system overreacts to a harmless substance. Symptoms of an allergic reaction range from mild to severe, and the most dangerous type of allergy, anaphylaxis, leads to hospitalization and even death.
Many substances can cause allergic reactions, including both indoor and outdoor items. Outdoor allergies (also called hay fever) are a common type of allergy. The main causes of outdoor allergies include:
- dust mites
- animal dander
- poor air quality
- skin prick (also known as a scratch test): in this type of test, a long, thin needle pricks the skin with potential allergens to see what may be the culprit of allergy symptoms.
- Intradermal skin test: This test is often used if the skin prick test is inconclusive. the provider will inject some of the substance under the skin to check for a reaction.
- Patch tests: Patch tests are usually used for allergies that cause skin reactions. During a patch test, a substance is placed directly on the skin, which is checked for a rash.
- blood test: This test looks for the presence of ige, an immune system antibody that is high in people with allergies. Unfortunately, this type of test has a high level of false positives and cannot detect the cause of the allergy.
- provocation test: This type of test is used for food allergies and can only be done by an experienced provider. the patient ingests a small amount of the suspected substance and their reaction is closely monitored.
Another common type of allergy seen in 32 million Americans (26 million adults and 5.6 million children) is a food allergy. for adults, the most common food allergy is to shellfish, followed by peanuts and tree nuts, while in children, the most common allergy is to milk, followed by eggs and peanuts.
Other allergies commonly seen in the United States include drug allergies (most commonly to penicillin), which affect up to 10% of the population, and latex allergies, which are seen in 4.3% of people and are especially high among health workers.
what are allergy tests?
There are a few types of allergy tests, and the test your provider will perform depends on your specific set of symptoms and the suspected cause of the allergy. These tests include:
the cost of allergies in 2022
In the United States alone, non-food allergies cost more than $18 billion a year, and food allergies cost an estimated $25 billion a year. These costs take into account both health spending and lost productivity due to missed work days and illness.
source: asthma allergy network
cost breakdown of allergy tests
Allergy testing costs vary widely depending on the type of testing you have, where you get tested, and your insurance status. if you don’t have insurance, expect to pay $60-$300 ($3-$5 per allergen) for skin tests and $200-$1,000 ($10-$20 per allergen) for blood tests. Some companies will offer lower prices for panels that test for multiple allergens in each category.
The prices in the table below describe the cost of Quest Diagnostics Allergy Panels. It is important to note that these are the costs of a single company, and costs can vary dramatically depending on where you are tested.