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What Factors Affect the Costs of Allergy Tests?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 16 September 2016
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There are many factors that can affect the costs of allergy tests. Among them are the type of allergy test a person needs — skin testing is usually cheaper than blood testing, for instance. One's practitioner choice and the region in which a person seeks diagnosis matters as well. Likewise, insurance coverage can affect a person's out-of-pocket expenses.

The type of allergy testing a person needs generally will affect the costs. Usually, allergy tests are performed by exposing scratched areas of the skin to common allergens, but sometimes blood testing is necessary. For example, if a person's skin is very dark and isn't likely to show a reaction as well, a doctor may order blood testing instead. In some cases, blood tests are necessary because a patient's medication will interfere with the results of the skin tests. As such, the costs of allergy tests may depend on whether a person has a skin or blood test, or needs both.

Practitioner differences may also have an effect on the costs of allergy tests. Often, this type of testing is performed by a specialist. For example, a person might see a board-certified allergy specialist rather than a family care provider for allergy testing and treatment. Since these doctors have spent additional time on training to become specialists and have also taken additional tests for board certification, the fees they charge may be higher than those set by general practitioners.

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Location is also among the cost factors — a person may find that the costs of allergy tests is more in some regions than it is in others. He may even find that costs vary from country to country. Often, though not always, allergy diagnosis and treatment costs are more expensive in wealthier areas.

When people have insurance, they may not feel as concerned about the overall cost of testing as they are with the amount they will have to pay out of their own pockets. While some insurance companies will pay for 100 percent of the costs of allergy testing, others will not. A person might be responsible for paying a percentage of the cost of testing out of his own pocket or have to cover the cost of a copay. The lower the percentage an insurance company will pay, the more the total cost of the shots will likely matter to a patient. This is due to the fact that a higher total fee combined with a low percentage of coverage can translate into a particularly high out-of-pocket cost.

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