STD testing can be inexpensive or very costly.
The price you pay for an STD test depends upon where and what kind of test you choose to take.
A wide variety of tests and test combinations can be found online and in clinics.
Generally, an STD test will cost you between $30 and $400 based on whether you test at home, in a clinic, or a laboratory.
Regardless of which route you choose, you should be sure the testing service you select is reliable and accurate.
If a test product/service doesn’t advertise validated accuracy, we recommend looking elsewhere.
The best STD test for you may also depend on how frequently you will need to get tested for a particular concern about STD exposure.
In this article, we take a fresh look at the differences between the most common STD testing options available today.
Doctors’ offices, hospitals, and urgent care practices offer STD testing.
This is the most expensive STD testing option but may still be the best option for the situations listed below.
Medical centers often charge a physician’s fee in addition to laboratory fees and can total upwards of $400 for a single-disease STD test (before prescriptions).
Pros of Testing at a Physician’s Office:
- A health care professional can help answer questions regarding what tests are most suitable for you.
- Insurance may cover part or all the testing price.
- The Affordable Care Act includes the cost of an STD screening in a facility.
- A health care professional is available to assist you in understanding results and discuss the following steps if you test positive.
Cons of Testing at a Physician’s Office:
- You might have to schedule an appointment week ahead of time.
- Wait time for an appointment could be extended.
- In addition to paying for laboratory tests, you pay the doctor’s fees.
- If you use your health insurance, your documents become available to them and some of the affiliate insurance providers, which might affect future insurance costs.
- You need to go to a physical place to get tested.
- Results are seldom available online and might take 2+ weeks to process.
- Testing results appear in your permanent health record.
- If the test result is positive, an extra copay cost is going to be required to find a prescription.
STI/STD Testing Centers (free clinics et al.)
Low-cost or free STD testing clinics are readily available in most urban regions.
A search for local STD testing centers will yield many free clinics, medical facilities, and public health departments offering STD testing.
Unfortunately, these clinics are usually underfunded and overcrowded.
Pros of testing at a free/subsidized clinic:
- If you qualify, clinics’ practices will often offer a single test at no cost.
- There are resources, including counseling, for folks that test positive for a sexually transmitted disease or infection.
Cons of testing in a free/subsidized clinic:
- Free clinics and facilities that base fees on a sliding scale (or provide free testing) will need written proof of your earnings.
- Some STI testing centers won’t test you for free unless you’re having symptoms, and as many as 80 percents of infections are asymptomatic.
- You want to take time from your day to go into a real place to get tested.
- Outcomes are seldom available online and might take 2+ weeks to process.
- Some test facilities require that you register for Medicaid to cover your costs.
- If you test positive, another copay cost could be needed to get a prescription.
Planned Parenthood Clinics
Planned Parenthood is known for its range of family health settings, including STD testing.
Costs will vary depending upon your location.
One clinic in Texas lists prices for tests between $30-$80 and a $50+ doctor visit fee.
Some packages cost more than $200.
- If paying from your pocket, no information will go on your permanent health record.
- You may use insurance in most centers.
- Teens, under 18, get a 25% discount in many Planned Parenthood facilities –check to confirm for your condition.
- Planned Parenthood is a sex-friendly, positive association.
- A few free treatment options are available if you test positive.
- Wait time for an appointment could be extended.
- Planned Parenthood won’t test you for free unless you’re having symptoms, and as many as 80 percents of infections are asymptomatic.
- You want to take time from your day to go into a physical site to get tested.
- Results aren’t available online and might take 2+ weeks to process.
Rapid Testing Kits / Home Test Kits
When you want to take an OTC STD test, you can purchase an online testing kit, take a sample, and mail it to the lab.
Taking a sample only requires a couple of minutes. And it’s completely anonymous and private – no waiting rooms, awkward discussions or inspections of your private parts.
You’ll also get lab-certified results online, which makes it much easier to share your status.
Some home test services also provide a free phone consultation with a physician the same day you get your results.
There are many options for non-prescribed STD testing online.
If you have an idea about the kind of infection you might have and are conscious of your symptoms, you can order a test for that particular disease.
Or, if you aren’t sure what you may have contracted or are not experiencing symptoms and just need to be a responsible partner, check for a combination of the most common STIs with a multi-panel test.
- Private and often anonymous.
- You’ll be able to test in your own home safely and get results without having to go to a facility.
- Consumers don’t have many options to pick from.
- Of the limited choices, many don’t utilize reliable FDA-approved test kits or popular labs. This indicates accuracy isn’t validated or guaranteed.
- If you want emotional support or counseling, you can’t be sure the testing kit business can handle it.
- Some online sites only provide pricing information after you complete their forms and discuss identifying information about yourself.
- Unavailable in most states.
At-Home STD Testing Prices
- At myLAB Box, results are lab-certified and have the same accuracy as testing at a doctor’s office or a clinic. myLAB Box at-home STD tests begin at $79.
- complete integrated service from testing to treatment. They provide free consultations with doctors and STD counselors for anyone who tests positive using our service.
- You can select from several test kits tailored to your lifestyle and requirements
- accepts Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Savings Account (FSA) payment cards.
- Some services offer extragenital testing (screening for rectal and oral infections), which is important for the LGBT people and anyone engaging solely or mostly in anal or oral sex.
- View test results online within 2-5 days of sending your sample.
- affordable without insurance
Bottom Line, you have loads of choices based on where you live, your investments, and the need for anonymity.