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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Tests, X-Rays & Imaging > Cholesterol Test

Cholesterol Test Cost


How Much Does a Cholesterol Test Cost?

 
low costPharmacy Test: $5-$25average costAt-Home Test: $15-$50high costPortable 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.

Typical costs:

  • 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[1] , 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[2] , a pharmacy with locations across Western Washington, offers a total cholesterol test for $5 and a complete lipid panel for $15. Publix[3] , 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[4] typically sell for $90-$110 and provide cholesterol checks in less than two minutes.
Related articles: Heart Rate Monitor, Heart Stent, Health Insurance

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.
Additional costs:
  • Portable meters require test strip refills. Test strip packs typically come with 2-3 strips and cost about $10-$20. Walmart[5] sells a two-pack with each pack containing three test strips (six strips total) for about $19.
Discounts:
  • 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.
Shopping for a cholesterol test:
  • Not all over-the-counter cholesterol kits are Food and Drug Administration-approved. The FDA maintains a database[6] of all of its approved products. The FDA warns[7] that while home-use tests are convenient, they should not replace regular visits with a physician.
  • The American Heart Association's cholesterol website[8] provides a wealth of information about cholesterol, its effects, health risks and healthy lifestyles.
  • WebMD[9] 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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External Resources:
  1.  www.cvs.com/minuteclinic/services/price-lists
  2.  www.bartelldrugs.com/pharmacy-events
  3.  www.publix.com/pharmacy/CholesterolScreening.do
  4.  www.cardiochek.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=92&Itemid=168
  5.  www.walmart.com/ip/Cholesterol-Biometer-Cholesterol-Test-Strips-2-Packs-of-3/10910675
  6.  www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfIVD/Search.cfm
  7.  www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/InVitroDiagnostics/HomeUse...
  8.  www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cholesterol/Cholesterol_UCM_001089_SubHomePage.jsp
  9.  www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/guide/understanding-numbers
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