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FAQ - Health Test Kits

Lab tests are one of the most important tools used by the medical community when it comes to evaluating someone’s health. These tests can help to diagnose a specific infection, identify why someone is having some type of symptoms, or just give information that can be used to make important lifestyle decisions. In many cases, having your primary doctor run these tests is going to cost hundreds, or even thousands of dollars. Using private labs is a great way to save a lot of money, get the tests done more quickly, and have the information delivered right to you.

If you are thinking about taking any type of health tests, you likely have some questions. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions we hear, and their answers.

Which Tests Are Available?

The specific tests that are available will vary depending on which company you work with. Some of these testing companies only offer at-home testing kits, of which there are usually between 30 and 50 different options. These kits will typically focus on STD/STI testing, which includes Herpes 1 & 2, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, hepatitis A, B & C, trichomonas, and HIV.

When going to a lab to have the testing completed there are hundreds of different options available. You will typically be able to find tests in categories such as allergy tests, anemia tests, blood type testing, cancer screening, cardiac & cholesterol testing, diabetes tests, drug testing, heavy metal and other toxins testing, hormone tests, prostate testing, pregnancy or fertility testing, kidney and liver testing, and many others. Taking the time to look through which tests a given company offers is an important first step in deciding which one is right for you.

How are the Tests Performed?

How are the Tests Performed?

Whether you are taking the tests at home or in a lab the method that they will be performed is going to be the same. Each test will require a sample, which is then analyzed by the lab technicians. Based on that analysis, they will issue a report on the results. The following are the different types of samples that may be needed depending on what tests you are having performed:

  • Blood Sample – A blood sample is typically taken by using a lancet to puncture the skin on a finger and then touching the blood to a sample collector. If a larger amount of blood is needed, the lab will have a medical professional draw blood, typically from a vein in your arm.
  • Urine Sample – A urine sample is collected by simply urinating into a small container. Some tests will require that you do this early in the morning, or only after fasting, so make sure to read the instructions completely.
  • Vaginal Swipe Sample – A vaginal swipe is done by taking a sample stick (it is similar to a Q-Tip, but with a longer stick), inserting it into the vagina and rubbing it against the vaginal wall. This is then placed into the provided packaging to keep it safe until it can be analyzed.
  • Stool Sample – There are several methods of collecting a stool sample. For these tests, the most common method is by placing a collection sheet on top of the water in the toilet, and then securing it under the toilet seat so that it doesn’t sink. After a bowl movement, take the sample collector and carefully scrape the stool until the marked area on the collector is covered. Place the collector into the tube and seal it up so it can be sent to the lab.

How Long Does It Take to Get the Results?

Once the lab has the samples to test the results are typically available within 24-48 hours. If you are taking an at-home test it will usually take 2-3 days for the samples to arrive at the lab.

What Happens if I Test Positive for an STD/STI?

Most of the testing companies either have doctor’s on staff who can prescribe you medications, or work with a network of doctors in each state. Either way, the services will let you know what type of medication you need to take to start treating the infection.

Are These Tests Safe to Take?

Absolutely. All the tests are completely safe. For at-home tests, the collection tools sent will be sterile and easy to use.

Is a Prescription or Doctor’s Note Required for The Tests?

No. These tests do not require any type of doctor’s approval. If you are going to the lab to have the samples collected, you will get a doctor’s request from the company, but that is just to tell the lab which tests to run.

What are the Specimens Needed for a Test?

The specimens needed for testing are what the technicians at the lab analyze. Each test requires a specific type of specimen in order to get the needed results. These types of tests will require either a blood sample, urine sample, stool sample, or a vaginal swipe sample. The web page for each test will say what type of sample is needed before you have to order it.

How Much Does Each Test Cost?

The cost of each test can vary drastically. This is based on several factors including how much work it is to process by the lab, how much the testing materials will cost, and much more. An individual test will typically cost anywhere from $30 up to $600. Most tests are under $100, and most STD/STI tests are under $50. The exact price is set by the testing company.

Is There a Way to Reduce the Cost of These Tests?

The best way to reduce the average cost of each test is going to be to purchase one of the bundles that each testing company offers. These bundles allow you to have multiple related tests performed for one lower price. In most cases it is possible to have 5-10 different STD/STI tests run from a single sample. Rather than paying $30-$50 for each one, taking them, all together costs between $99 and $150 in most cases.

Does Insurance Cover the Costs of the Tests?

These companies do not accept insurance coverage to pay for the tests.

Can I Use My HSA or FSA Card for Payment?

Yes. You can use your HSA (Health Savings Account) or FSA (Flex Spending Account) to pay for these tests. This is a convenient way to make a payment and allow you to enjoy the tax savings.

How Long Does It Take for a Test Kit to Arrive?

Once you place an order for an at-home testing kit, it will usually arrive at your home within 24-48 hours. Where you live in comparison to where the company’s warehouse is located can also have some impact on how long it takes.

Are There Any Restrictions on Where These Tests Can be Sent?

The companies we review on this site serve people throughout the United States. Some of the providers do not offer their services in New York, New Jersey, or Rhode Island because of local laws restricting who can request a test.