(Updated 2022) How much does an annual well-woman gynecological exam cost? It’s recommended that all adult women have an annual gynecological exam — also known as a “well-woman exam” — that includes a health history, breast exam, pelvic exam, Pap smear, physical exam and complete health screening.
But what does it cost? Well, that depends. New York City and the tri-state area — as well as other metro areas — are full of low-cost and subsidized health clinics that perform such exams for women of all income levels, many offering sliding-scale payment plans. These types of visits can cost anywhere from nothing at all to more than $300 — and the price can include a whole lot, or very little, so it’s important to ask what you’re getting for your money.
If you have a regular provider and the exam is covered by your insurance plan, with or without a co-pay, maybe this isn’t important. But if you’re uninsured, or out of pocket, it matters a lot.
WELL-WOMAN EXAM COSTS VARY BY LOCATION
We surveyed New York City area providers for their prices, and found a range from $90 to $485. Here’s the page of results for the cost of a well-woman exam in the New York area. Here’s the page of results for the cost of a well-woman exam in the San Francisco area, where the highest-priced provider charges $1,125. Here’s a list of results for the cost of a well-woman exam in the Los Angeles area.
Here are results for the cost of a well-woman exam in the Dallas area.
As always, we do not guarantee these prices. You should call in advance or confirm with the provider.
EXAM VARIANCES BY AGE
Prices can vary a quite a bit by age. One San Francisco clinic, UCSF Gynecology on Sutter Street, had a range of prices depending on age: for women 18-39, the price was $450, with a 40% discount for cash; for women 40-64, the price is $528 with a 40% discount; for 65 or older, the price is $579 with a 40% discount for cash.
At the Greenburgh Health Center on Tarrytown Road in Greenburgh, N.Y., the sliding scale holds prices ranging from $20 to $60 depending on income and family size for this facility, serving the medically needy.
Planned Parenthood has a sliding scale, as do a number of other clinics, especially community health centers.
For a number of clinics we talked to, the new-patient price was higher than the price for a returning patient.
Getting a Pap smear with your exam
One of the most important elements of a well-woman exam is a Pap smear — a screening to detect pre-cancerous cells in the cervix — and sometimes, they’re covered in the cost of a doctor’s visit. Some clinics will not do a routine well-woman exam without a Pap smear.
But some clinics charge an additional lab fee to process the test, ranging from $55 to $600 (the office manager for one clinic that charges hundreds of dollars for a Pap smear on top of $150 office visit fee said they often send low-income clients to Planned Parenthood, where an all-inclusive exam costs $175.)
Here’s our list of prices for a Pap smear in the New York area, prices for a Pap smear in the Los Angeles area, and a list of prices for a pap smear in the San Francisco area. Of course, it often makes sense to ensure that whoever is doing the Pap smear is sending it to a participating lab, if you’re covered by insurance. We all want to avoid the nasty surprise of a “nonparticipating lab” bill.
The moral of the story? Don’t assume all tests are included in an office visit, and ask about lab fees: they can be double or triple the price of the visit.