May 27, 2022
How Much Does Allergy Testing Cost?
6 minute read
Allergy tests are one of the only exams that you don’t need to study for. And instead of causing stress, these tests can help alleviate tons of tensions by revealing what exactly is causing you to sneeze, wheeze, and everything in between.
But unlike a chemistry test, allergy tests aren’t free. How much do allergy tests cost, and are there ways to access them cheaply? Here’s everything you need to know.
How Do Allergy Tests Work?
To justify spending some money on an allergy test, it can help to know how exactly they work. Let’s take a look at the two main types of allergy tests so you can have a better appreciation for the work and technology that goes into uncovering your hidden allergy triggers.
Skin Prick Tests
Skin tests are often considered the holy grail of allergy testing because they quickly provide accurate results. A licensed allergist will perform this test at their office.
To start, your provider will place droplets of suspected allergens on your forearm or back. Then, they’ll use a tiny needle to prick or scratch the skin to allow the droplets to go under the surface. If you’re allergic to a substance, it will result in a raised red bump called a wheal.
In general, the larger the wheal, the more severe a reaction you might have if you’re exposed.
The benefits of these tests are that they are quick and reliable, with results appearing in less than 15 minutes. Not to mention, these tend to be the most reliable indicators of the type of allergens you’re allergic to, as well as the severity of the reaction.
However, they require you to go to an office in person and can cause some discomfort, especially when the allergist is testing a large number of allergens simultaneously.
The other common type of allergy test is called a blood test. These tests examine IgE (immunoglobulin E) in drops of your blood.
The immune system produces IgE antibodies, and each one has a specific “radar” for individual types of allergens. If you have specific IgE antibodies, certain allergen triggers can elicit an immune system response in the form of symptoms.
There are two types of blood tests — one can be done in a lab with a blood draw, and the other can be done at home with a finger prick. The lab will add allergens to your blood to measure the number of IgE antibodies present.
The drawback of a blood test is that it can take some time to get your results, as it requires the sample to be sent to a lab. However, a significant benefit is taking it right from home.
Cleared’s at-home testing kit allows you to test for 40 common indoor and outdoor allergens without ever needing to step outside your door.
How Much Do Allergy Tests Cost?
You can see how complex these tests can be, and they require a lot of resources to give you accurate results. For that reason, a typical allergy skin test costs anywhere from $60 to $300, whereas a blood test can cost between $200 to $1,000. Of course, the price tag can vary based on your insurance.
But you shouldn’t pay more than you have to.
Cleared’s at-home testing kit is at the lowest end of this spectrum, and it comes with free shipping and a free allergy consultation to help you manage your symptoms once you find out what you’re allergic to.
Does Insurance Cover Allergy Testing?
All insurance policies vary based on their coverage. However, most individuals can get a discounted price on their allergy testing through insurance. Sometimes, insurance companies will require a doctor’s referral for allergy testing for you to get covered.
Give your insurance company a call if you’re curious about how far your coverage extends for allergy testing. With the Cleared at-home test, you can use your HSA or FSA accounts to pay for testing.
When Should You Buy an Allergy Test?
We recommend that everyone get an allergy test, as it might reveal some potential triggers that you’ve never even considered. However, we also understand that some people might not want to get tested.
There are plenty of over-the-counter remedies, like antihistamines, that can help you alleviate your symptoms. As a rule of thumb, if your symptoms are easily manageable and they don’t cause you intense amounts of stress, you may not need to get an allergy test.
Additionally, suppose you have symptoms during specific times of the year, such as changing seasons. In that case, you may be able to quickly pinpoint the source of your allergen as a form of pollen or different airborne trigger.
If there’s any ambiguity about what’s causing your symptoms, it’s a good idea to invest in a test so you can work towards relief.
Which Type of Allergy Test Should You Get?
If you’ve decided to get an allergy test, the next step is to determine which one is right for you. Skin tests tend to be the most common because they can test for multiple allergens at one time and give you results in just a few minutes.
However, if you have sensitive skin, are prone to rashes, or are taking certain medications, a doctor may recommend a blood test instead. These are also recommended if you’d rather take your allergy test from home instead of going into a physical office.
Allergy tests like skin tests and blood tests are handy tools for diagnosing your allergens and helping you find future relief.
Depending on the type of test you receive and your insurance benefits, you’ll probably be spending anywhere from $200 to $1,000 on your allergy blood test. However, Cleared gives you access to an at-home test at the lowest end of this range, and with it comes a free consultation and ongoing support from your online allergist.
Take your free consultation today to see if allergy testing is the right course of action for you.
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