Even with vaccines and PPE, preventing the spread of covid-19 requires frequent testing.
To get tested for covid without insurance, there are some free options available; on the other hand, you could be paying up to $250.
In this article, we’ll go over what a COVID-19 test is and the different options you have for getting tested without insurance. we also cover how you can get a free trial.
cost of a covid-19 test without insurance
Currently, there is no federal regulation on the price of covid-19 tests.
therefore, like many health care services, hospitals and laboratories can establish their rates for people who are insured or who pay in cash.
Because of this, prices vary widely from place to place.
There are also several options on how to get tested:
- home test kit with almost immediate results
- home test kit that requires a lab to read the results
- hospital tests
- urgent care tests
- laboratory tests
- private testing locations
- fever and chills
- difficulty breathing
- muscle aches
- loss of taste or smell
- sore throat
- runny nose
- CVs health
- rite help
- walmart, in collaboration with quest diagnostics
- local independent pharmacies
With so many testing options and no federal regulation, the price range is wide.
after looking at a wide range of private testing sites, the cost of a covid-19 test typically ranges from $80 to $250.
price varies depending on whether you want a pcr or antigen test. in most cases, the antigen test is the less expensive of the two, but not in all cases.
Here are some other ways you can buy tests to take at home.
labcorp has partnered with walgreens to offer take home pcr tests available to walgreens customers for $119 each.
The kit arrives in the mail in one to two business days, and after dropping it off at a lab, results are available within one to two days. some tests are also available for in-store pickup.
walmart has antigen test kits available for sale online, ranging from $20 for a two-test kit to $1,000 for a pack of 45.
They have multiple antigen tests, and you can choose whether to do a nasal or saliva swab. cvs also offers the same test kits for about the same price.
Some insurance companies also offer rapid antigen tests free of charge.
check your individual insurance carrier’s website to see if yours does.
factors that affect the price of covid tests
There are several factors that affect the price of covid-19 tests. As mentioned above, the manufacturers of the test and those who administer or sell the test can set their prices.
where you live affects the price of covid-19 tests in your area.
If testing costs in your area are higher, check the costs on other sites in your region to find a better price.
place of purchase
The facility in which the test is performed or where the purchase affects the price.
Hospitals have the highest cost for testing, and urgent care centers can also be more expensive due to additional fees.
Private testing centers may charge their fee based on the current rate in their area.
home testing may be a more affordable route.
what is a covid-19 test?
a covid-19 test is a tool to determine if you are currently sick with covid-19 and could spread it to others.
The test uses a swab from your mouth or nose to see if you are currently infected with the virus. these tests do not check for previous infections or your level of immunity against covid-19.
Covid-19 tests can be done at home, in a lab, urgent care center, hospital, or testing site.
get tested if you have symptoms of covid-19, such as:
Other reasons to get tested include an upcoming trip or event, experiencing recent exposure to COVID-19, visiting immunocompromised friends or loved ones you want to protect, and work or school requirements.
types of covid-19 tests
Currently, PCR and antigen tests are the two ways to detect an active covid-19 infection.
The PCR test has been used since the beginning of the pandemic and is considered the “gold standard” test by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
the pcr test can detect covid-19 even in the early stages of infection.
The pcr test is a long sterile cotton swab used to collect a sample from the nostril or sinuses.
To perform the test, insert the swab and swirl it around your nostril or sinus for about 10-15 seconds. remove the swab and take a second sample from the other nostril.
The hyssop may tickle and cause you to sneeze, cough, or gag, but these effects are temporary.
Depending on where this test is done, results can be ready in as little as 15 minutes or as soon as two days.
antigen test design is a rapid diagnosis of an active covid-19 infection. however, they are less sensitive than the pcr test, which means there may be a false negative.
You will get the most accurate results from an antigen test if you do it within five to seven days after symptoms start.
The antigen test involves a swab that is swabbed from your nostril or sinus. It is performed in the same way as the PCR test.
Test results take 15-30 minutes to complete.
save money on covid-19 tests
There are a few ways to save money on COVID-19 testing, including the following.
ask for free covid tests
everyone in the us. uu. you can request a third round of free home tests by mail. To request your free covid-19 test, visit the covid.gov website.
There is a link on the site to place your order.
the tests you receive by mail are antigen tests, not pcr. take the test anywhere without having to leave it in the laboratory and the results will be ready in 30 minutes.
use a free test center
There are also testing sites that offer low-cost or no-cost COVID-19 testing.
Some pharmacies and retail companies have partnered with state and local governments to provide this service to their communities.
Not everyone will qualify for the free trial. you can get more information at your nearest location.
pharmacies that offer free or low-cost testing include:
Health centers across the country are offering free or low cost COVID-19 screenings and tests.
In addition, if any out-of-pocket costs are required, health centers may offer a discounted fee based on income and family size.
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