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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Medical Specialties & Departments > Allergy Shots

Allergy Shots Cost


How Much Do Allergy Shots Cost?

 
low costWith Insurance: Copays Around $10-$25 Per Visitaverage costMedium: Without Insurance $20-$100 Per Visit
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Allergy shots -- also called allergen immunotherapy -- can decrease a patient's sensitivity to allergens by injecting the allergens into the body regularly in gradually increasing amounts.

Typical costs:

  • For a patient not covered by health insurance, allergy shot cost consists of two parts: the vial of allergy serum -- which usually costs about $100 and contains about 10 shots -- and the administration of the injection. The cost for administration of the shot, including preparation of the allergy serum, is about $20 to $100 per visit, depending on whether a doctor or nurse administers the shots and whether more than one shot is administered. If shots are needed weekly, that's $1,560 to $3,900 per year, including the serum cost. In subsequent years, frequency might drop to twice a month, so the yearly cost would be about $720 to $1,800 per year, including the serum cost.
  • Allergy shots are often covered by health insurance. For patients covered by health insurance, typical out-of-pocket costs include a copay, usually between $10 and $25 per visit, or a percentage of the cost, usually between 10 and 40 percent. This can add up to between $500 and $1,300 -- with an average cost of $800 -- for the first year, which is the most expensive. For the next two to four years, yearly costs range from $170 to $290 per year. So, total out-of-pocket cost of the entire treatment can range from a little more than $800 on the low end to almost $2,500 on the high end.
Related articles: Allergy Testing

What should be included:
  • Allergy shots can be used to treat a range of allergies including seasonal allergies, such as to ragweed and pollen; indoor allergies, such as to dust mites, mold and pet dander; and allergies to stings of insects, such as bees, wasps and hornets.
  • Allergy shots sometimes require years of treatments before immunity is achieved. Usually, the buildup phase, in which the dosage is gradually increased and shots are administered one to three times a week at the doctor's office, lasts three to seven months. Then, the maintenance phase, in which a consistent maintenance dose is administered once a month, can last three to five years.
  • Allergy shots usually start to work within four to six months, but can take a year or more.
Additional costs:
  • Some patients suffer a recurrence and need additional shots after the initial three- to five-year treatment. It is estimated at 75 to 85 percent of patient improve significantly.
Discounts:
  • Allergy drops, which are not yet FDA approved but are prescribed by some doctors as an off-label drug, are not covered by insurance but provide a less expensive and possibly more convenient alternative to allergy shots because they are self-administered daily, under the tongue. They cost about $12 per week or a little more than $600 per year.
Shopping for allergy shots:
  • Before considering allergy shots, it is important to get tested by a board-certified allergist to confirm the allergy. Board-certified allergists have completed a three-year residency in internal medicine or pediatrics, followed by two to three years of study in allergy and immunology. The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology[1] offers an allergist locator by zip code. Or call their hotline, 1-800-842-7777 for a referral.
  • After testing, talk to your allergist about whether you are a good candidate for allergy shots. Allergy shots do not work for food allergies or people with chronic hives, and they are not recommended for people with severe uncontrolled asthma or heart problems, especially those taking beta blockers. And allergy shots should not be started during pregnancy, but may continue during pregnancy if started before conception.
  • Allergy shots are considered fairly low risk. Side effects can include redness, swelling and itching at the injection site or, less commonly, a systemic reaction that can include sneezing, wheezing and hives. Most reactions occur within 30 minutes and can be treated by the allergist. In very rare cases, deaths have occurred.
  • For patients wishing to see faster results, a more intensive allergy shot regimen might be available.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
 
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
allergy shots
Amount: $35.00
Posted by: jnls in quincy, IL.Posted: January 3rd, 2014 10:01AM
Medical Center: quincy medical groupInsurance: united health care
This is such a rip off. $35.00 every wk and the nurse gives me the shot. I stopped couldn't afford. Now I have pneuommia. Missed alot of work and qualtiy of life not good. What is a person to do that is getting ready to go on medicare?
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works, but too expensive
Amount: $1,730.00
Posted by: believer in dallas, TX.Posted: February 12th, 2013 11:02AM
Medical Center: united allergy lab @ care unitedInsurance: umr-a branch of united health care
My vials/serum are take home..meaning I give myself shots every other day until it is time to cut down to twice a week.rnrnUMR said I would be covered 100% but as it turns out they are only covering 70%. It all depends on the wording (shots, injections, or serum) & the cpt code used. rnrnEven though it is insanely expensive, my shots are 100% customized to benefit me. It's not some generic shot like a lot of clinics. I've completed year one & I only missed 1-2 days for being ill compared to 6 the year before. Also, my year 2 test results speaks for itself. I only had 3 allergens pop up, whereas, before it was around 20ish.
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Allergy shots that you don't have to take forever
Amount: $28.00
Posted by: Victoria Marie in Dallas, TX.Posted: May 23rd, 2012 02:05PM
Medical Center: Environmental Health Center - DallasInsurance: United Health Care
Firstly United Health Care covers my antigen shots 100%, which is amazing.

More importantly, the allergy shots I take are not a one-size-fits-all shot that most allergy clinics give that you have to take forever. The Environmental Health Center tests one item at a time and gets a specific you-specific dose that "shuts off your reaction to that item." Then, that is the dose you get in your shots.

That being said, I think the cost of antigens without insurance coverage is like $28 per 20doses for most items (there are some that require more intense testing and cost more, but not many). I pay this all out of pocket and insurance reimburses me.

Best place for the money considering their allergy shot regimen gets rid of your allergies and in a way that doesn't make you sick during the process. Plus the average person takes the allergy shots for 18 months and then is done.
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allergy shots
Amount: $1,000.00
Posted by: disbeliver in Whiting ,NJ in whiting, NJ.Posted: February 1st, 2011 10:02AM
Medical Center: doctors officeInsurance: medicare
after taking allergy shots for 50 years I want to go from every 28 days to 56 days but was told the doc has to give them eveyr 28 days? I have trouble beliving this.
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I think allergy shots rip off
Amount: $30.00
Posted by: Regular in Princeton, NJ.Posted: December 27th, 2009 09:12PM
Medical Center: doctor's officeInsurance: HMO
For each allergy shot visit (so far once a week) I pay $30. (my allergist is within my HMO in-network).
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Worth it, but expensive
Amount: $85.00
Posted by: foodster in Palo Alto, CA.Posted: February 28th, 2009 12:02AM
Medical Center: Palo Alto Medical FoundationInsurance: Blue Cross
When I first started getting shots in 2007, Blue Cross's (CA) very small print said that the maximum yearly benefit for vaccines was $800, and they categorized allergy shots as a vaccine. Well, after pretty much maxing the benefit out with allergy shots, I ended up having to pay over $2,000 the first year for shots, usually $85 per shot ($100 minus a $15 adjustment). But that's 3 times a week at first (and after several months, you slowly work your way down to once a month). The allergy shots have helped with my allergies -- I needed them, so I had to pay, but if you are planning to get allergy shots "some day" and are flexible with time, I suggest you read the small print on your insurance policy, and if needed, consider even switching policies if you can to cover allergy shots, because it's a lot of dough.
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External Resources:
  1.  aaaai.execinc.com/edibo/FindAnAllergist
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