Lab test costs

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Lab tests are a growing cost for most of us. My lab tests, increasingly, seem to involve a separate co-pay or co-insurance payment, though the policy I hold  says that tests from participating labs are covered.

Another take on lab tests comes from Anna Wilde Mathews in The Wall Street Journal on Jan. 11:

“Cheryl Lassiter likes to keep a close eye on her cholesterol levels, but with a high-deductible insurance plan, she doesn’t want to pay the fees for repeated checkups by her doctor. So a few times a year, she orders up a lab test herself, using an online service that charges about $40.

” ‘You cut out the middleman,’ says Ms. Lassiter, 56, a writer who lives in Hampton, N.H.

“Most people get lab tests after a doctor recommends them during a visit. Now, a small but growing number of consumers are skipping the time and expense of seeing a physician and are ordering up their own tests, with heart-related assays among the most popular. For some, it’s a way to keep track of measures that they want to regularly monitor, such as cholesterol levels or the blood-sugar indicator known as hemoglobin A1C, which is important to people with diabetes. For others, a broad-based panel of tests may provide a quick snapshot of overall health, or a particular test could address worries about the presence of a possible condition such as hepatitis C. More