|Pharmacy Test: $5-$25||At-Home Test: $15-$50||Portable Digital Meter: $75-$200|
Cholesterol tests measure the good and bad cholesterol in the body. Cholesterol is a wax-like substance that the body uses to function. Too much cholesterol can cause arteries to clog and lead to heart disease. There are several tests to determine cholesterol levels.
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- Cholesterol testing is frequently done as part of an annual physical, which might be covered by medical insurance. If an insured patient receives a cholesterol test as part of a physical, there is typically a charge for an office visit copay.
- Walk-in clinics provide cholesterol testing for $50-$100 per visit. The cost usually includes the cost of lab testing and the cost of an office visit. For example, Minute Clinic , the medical clinic located inside many CVS Pharmacy locations, offers cholesterol testing for $59-$69plus a $37 lab fee.
- Local pharmacies often provide cholesterol testing on-site. The test typically costs $5-$25. For example, Bartell Drugs , a pharmacy with locations across Western Washington, offers a total cholesterol test for $5 and a complete lipid panel for $15. Publix , with locations in South Carolina, Tennessee and Florida, offers cholesterol testing for $15-$20.
- There are two basic types of home cholesterol tests -- the kind done completely in the privacy of one's home and the kind that requires shipment to a laboratory to complete. At-home tests cost $15-$25; kits requiring shipment cost $25-$50.
- Portable digital meters check a patient's cardiovascular health. The meters often check for cholesterol level using test strips and typically sell for $75-$200. For example, CardioChek meters typically sell for $90-$110 and provide cholesterol checks in less than two minutes.
What should be included:|
- Cholesterol tests involve a phlebotomist drawing blood from a patient. Typically, a patient will have an elastic band placed around their upper arm to stop blood flow. The needle insertion site is cleaned with alcohol as part of the preparation. A needle is placed in the vein and blood is collected. Lab technicians will examine the blood for cholesterol.
- Home cholesterol check kits usually include test strips, lancets to pierce the skin, a test kit, gauze and bandages. For home test kits that are sent to a lab, expect to find a blood collection kit and shipping labels or a pre-paid mailer.
- Cholesterol meters usually include the meter itself and 2-3 test strips.
- Portable meters require test strip refills. Test strip packs typically come with 2-3 strips and cost about $10-$20. Walmart sells a two-pack with each pack containing three test strips (six strips total) for about $19.
Shopping for a cholesterol test:
- Health fairs often have booths offering free cholesterol testing.
- Medical insurance may cover the cost of a cholesterol exam. Check with an insurance provider to find specific coverage details.
- Not all over-the-counter cholesterol kits are Food and Drug Administration-approved. The FDA maintains a database of all of its approved products. The FDA warns that while home-use tests are convenient, they should not replace regular visits with a physician.
- The American Heart Association's cholesterol website provides a wealth of information about cholesterol, its effects, health risks and healthy lifestyles.
- WebMD provides information to help patients understand cholesterol test results.
| 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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