Most folks dealing with Lyme, even those with supposedly “good” insurance, end up paying out-of-pocket for many lab tests. Over the years, our family has shelled out big bucks at Lab Corp. Until we learned about a website called DirectLabs.com. Since then, we’ve been shelling out littler bucks.
The difference between just walking into Lab Corp as a private pay client and one with a pre-paid, direct access slip might be hundreds of dollars in your pocket.
Here’s how it works:
You register on-line with DirectLabs. You indicate which tests you need and you pay up front with a credit card. You print out a requisition slip, which you take to your nearest Lab Corp office. That’s it.
Your discount will vary by the test. A CD-57 gives you minor savings—you pay $129 instead of $143.
But DHEA costs $69 instead of $219. A thyroid panel is $45 instead of $174.
Depending on what tests you need, this could add up to significant savings. Last week, we paid about $100 for testing that would have otherwise cost over $900.
DirectLabs is not the only website like this. Here are some others:
There is price variation among these websites, depending upon which tests you order. It pays to comparison shop before you buy. Also, Health Tests Direct allows you to use either Quest Diagnostics or Lab Corp, which may boost your convenience factor.
Alas, state laws forbid such direct access lab testing in five states: Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island. However, Direct Labs provides a work-around for three of those states: New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. You need to pay an annual fee of $24 to join the service in those three states, then you can access the discounts discussed above.
Also, not all of the companies listed above provide services in every state. Like everything else related to Lyme disease, you have to do your homework.
So, how come there’s such a price difference between a person who walks in off the street and one who walks in with a prepaid slips from one of these websites? These companies have negotiated bulk deals with the labs, and are passing that savings along to their customers.
Works for me.
Note: If you are in need of Lyme diagnostic testing, you may qualify for a grant from Lyme-TAP. More information at www.LymeTap.com.
TOUCHED BY LYME is written by Dorothy Kupcha Leland, LymeDisease.org’s VP for Education and Outreach. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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